Photo: James McNew

Yo La Tengo drop new instrumental album We Have Amnesia Sometimes

Alt-rock legends Yo La Tengo never stop playing music, and that has remained true during the recent months of lockdown. During the course of this week they’ve been sharing a new track each day that bear witness to the formless jamming they’ve been doing during their socially distanced practices. Today they’ve collected the five pieces together and released them as an album called We Have Amnesia Sometimes. Ira Kaplan had this message to share about it:

If you’ve spent any time hanging out with us at our rehearsal space in Hoboken — that pretty much covers none of you — you’ve heard us playing formlessly (he said, trying to sidestep the word “improvising”).  Most of the songs we’ve written in the last 25 years have begun that way, but often we do it for no other reason than to push away the outside world.

In late April, with the outside world weighing on everybody, we determined that the three of us could assemble in Hoboken without disobeying the rules laid out by Governor Murphy, and resumed . . . “practicing” hardly describes it, because we’ve done no practicing per se, and anyway what would we be practicing for . . . playing.  James set up one microphone in the middle of the room in case we stumbled on something useful for the future. Instead we decided to release some of the things we did right now.

The entirety of We Have Amnesia Sometimes is available now on all streaming platforms. There will be a physical release later in the year via Yo La Tengo’s Bandcamp.

The trio are also playing a couple of ticketed live streamed gigs this weekend. The entry is $10, with all proceeds going to  will benefit the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute fighting for democracy. Grab your tickets for those shows here.

You can follow Yo La Tengo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.