Today, Sleater-Kinney share new single, Say It Like You Mean It with a video directed by Carrie Brownstein starring Succession’s J. Smith-Cameron. The track is an unforgettable, unadorned riff backing a raw examination of a relationship coming apart. It’s an exposed nerve ending of a song, and Smith-Cameron exudes unbridled truth when Tuckers sings “Say it like you mean it / I need to hear it before you go / Say it like you mean it / This goodbye hurts when you go.” The band worked with Desert Island Studios on the video, a minority-owned production company, studio facility, and membership collective working to remove barriers in the media industry for historically marginalised communities.
Last month the band announced their eleventh studio album, Little Rope, out January 19 via Loma Vista, with the powerfully intimate Hell. The track was called “big, bold, ferocious and plainspoken,” by Paste Magazine, with the New York Times saying it “breaks wide open with anguish and inconsolable fury, as tolling, elegiac verses erupt into bitter power-chorded choruses. Corin Tucker unleashes her scream on the word ‘why.’”
Recorded at Flora Recording and Playback in Portland, Oregon with Grammy-winning producer John Congleton, Little Rope is one of the most honest and soul-baring albums by one of modern rock’s most vital bands. Sleater-Kinney is hitting the road in 2024 in support of Little Rope, beginning on Feb 28th in San Diego and including multiple nights in New York, San Francisco and Portland. Beforehand, the group will perform at Pitchfork Festival London on Nov. 10 and Corona Capital in Mexico City on Nov. 19.
To call Little Rope flawless feels like an insult to its intent – it careens headfirst into flaw and brokenness – a meditation on what living in a world of perpetual crisis has done to us, and what we do to the world in return. On the surface, the album’s 10 songs veer from spare to anthemic, catchy to deliberately hard-turning. But beneath that are perhaps the most complex and subtle arrangements of any Sleater-Kinney record, and a lyrical and emotional compass pointed firmly in the direction of something both liberating and terrifying: the sense that the only way to gain control is to let it go.
In the autumn of 2022, Carrie Brownstein received a call from Corin Tucker, who herself had just received a call from the American embassy in Italy. Years earlier, Brownstein listed Tucker as her emergency contact on a passport form, and while she had since changed her phone number, Tucker had not. The embassy staff were desperately trying to reach Brownstein. When they finally did, they told her what happened: While vacationing in Italy, Brownstein’s mother and stepfather had been in a car accident. Both were killed.
Although some of the album had already been written, aspects of each song—a guitar solo, the singing style, the sonic approach—were pulled into a changed emotional landscape. As Brownstein and Tucker moved through the early aftermath of the tragedy, elements of what was to become the emotional backbone of Little Rope began to form – how we navigate grief, who we navigate it with, and the ways it transforms us.
Little Rope Track List:
- Needlessly Wild
- Say It Like You Mean It
- Hunt You Down
- Small Finds
- Don’t Feel Right
- Six Mistakes
- Dress Yourself
- Untidy Creature