Once an artist uses our platform to connect with an audience, we grandfather them into the NoiseTrade community for life and keep our antennae tuned to let you know about whatever future projects they’re working on. This week’s heads up: NT Alumni Juliana Hatfield kicks off 2019 with Weird, a brand new album of 11 melodically buzzy originals that celebrate “the marriage of guitar rock to Loner Philosophy.”
After last year’s wonderfully-crafted sugar-and-salt tribute album Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, alt-rock legend Juliana Hatfield (Blake Babies, Minor Alps, The Lemonheads, solo) is kicking off 2019 with a melodically buzzy masterpiece called Weird (out January 18 on American Laundromat Records). Described as being an album that “translates solitude and renunciation into soaring melodies and cunning guitar parts,” Weird captures Hatfield at her most lyrically introspective and her most musically outspoken. The musical cohesion on the album is due in large part by Hatfield handling all of the production and instrumental duties herself, except for a few drum parts being tackled by frequent Hatfield collaborators Freda Love Smith (Blake Babies, Sunshine Boys) and Todd Phillips (Lemonheads, The Juliana Hatfield Three).
Prior to the album’s release, Hatfield has released a couple of standout singles: “It’s So Weird” and “Lost Ship.” The former bounces along on a relaxed groove that echoes some of the same melodically bright ONJ influences celebrated in her last release and the latter highlights her signature sonic dichotomy between the deceptively delicate side of Hatfield’s vocal range and the weightiness of her woefully under-recognized guitar work that trademarks much of her best work. She also recorded a visually arresting music video for “Lost Ship” that perfectly echoes the song’s dreamy instrumental aspects and the lyrical themes of disconnection and isolation. The gorgeous video was shot on Deer Island in Winthrop, Massachusetts and was brilliantly directed by Network 77’s Rachel Lichtman.
Hatfield will be releasing Weird through American Laundromat Records and as with her previous releases/reissues with ALR, there are a seriously cool selection of formats to choose from, including CD, cassette, a trio of vinyl colors (orange, green, and light blue), a bonus 7” single on green vinyl (featuring two non-album songs), and some really nice bundled options. Having purchased other albums form ALR, I can wholeheartedly vouch for their commitment to excellence, both in vinyl quality and aesthetic touches. The strikingly simplistic color palette of the cover art really pops in person and my light blue vinyl copy plays crisply and cleanly on both sides. The inner sleeve serves double duty as a lyric sheet and the artwork design and layout by Jed Davis functions as an aesthetically sharp companion to Hatfield’s wonderfully left-of-center songs. You can even get a little more insight into the album’s themes of “radical solitude” and “contentment in a small space” through Laura Fisher’s illuminating digital liner note essay here: https://www.julianahatfield.com/weird
You can pre-order Weird in the tasty format of your choosing directly from American Laundromat here: https://www.alr-music.com/collections/out-now/products/juliana-hatfield-weird