Wilco – Schmilco (Dbpm Records, 2016)
Wilco’s 12th album opens with the simple, folky tune “Normal American Kids.” It sets the tone of the record, as the bulk of the album consists of short, acoustic odes—many of which clock in at three minutes or less. Despite the simplicity of the melodies, Jeff Tweedy’s breathy voice gives each song texture and an extra kick. Lyrically, Tweedy explores themes such as childhood memories, existentialism and doubt. The gentle guitar rhythms and soft percussion, coupled with the darker, bitter lyrics gives the album a bit more complexity. Though you won’t hear anything overly experimental or climactic in comparison to their previous albums, Schmilco has a softness to it that makes it an easy listen, and a pretty relatable one. Short and sweet seems to work for Wilco.
Trial track: “Someone to Lose”