I’ve listened to Days Like These maybe a dozen times now, and I’m still not even sure if I like the first half of it. Alan Sparhawk’s vocal is more prominent than perhaps ever before, accompanied by Mimi Parker’s harmonies and very little else and it’s almost wilfully OTT and (whisper it) a bit cheesy? Maybe that’s the point, and there’s a good chance that later this year after sitting with it for longer and reading more into the meaning behind it I’ll realise just how wrong I am, but that’s where I am right now. What isn’t in doubt however, is the second half, which is one of the best things they’ve ever made.
Produced again by BJ Burton who worked with them on 2018’s incredible Double Negative, it descends into warped static, freewheeling, ethereal harmonies and an atmosphere so thick with longing it takes a good few minutes to pull yourself out of it. It’s also the lead single from their forthcoming new LP Hey What, out 10 September on Sub Pop. Bring on the heartache.