Fall in Love with Sleater-Kinney’s New Album “No Cities to Love”

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Indie rock trio Sleater-Kinney last left listeners with the spectacularly dark, edgy and gut-wrenching album The Woods back in 2005, before they went on an indefinite hiatus the following year. Some of the band’s riot-grrl rooted previous releases like Dig Me Out and The Hot Rock had already been on the peripherals of my musical radar. However, it wasn’t until a college classmate burned me a copy of The Woods that I started really getting into the band and sinking my teeth into their music. Their energy, passion and strong indie punk sound pummeled its way into my life, striking chords and nerves in my restless young heart that I didn’t even know existed.

Having an all-female group like that to look up to in a male dominated scene was priceless. Imagine how bummed I was when I discovered soon after that they were calling it quits. It seemed totally unfair that I could fall in love with a band at such an inopportune time. It was almost like a break up, where they were saying, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I pissed and moaned, and threw myself into other relationships (Against Me! was my rescue rebound) to forget the pain.

Fast forward almost a decade and let’s just say that my embittered relationship has been rekindled and it’s even better than I expected. That hiatus was maybe the best thing that could’ve ever happened. Carrie Brownstein (guitar, vocals) went on to write and act in the hit IFC show Portlandia, and formed new band, Wild Flag. Corin Tucker (guitar, vocals) started the Corin Tucker Band and raised a child. And Janet Weiss (drums) played with various groups including Wild Flag, The Shins, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, etc. I graduated college, started working and writing. It was that rare instance in which “taking a break” actually worked in strengthening a relationship. That once crushing hiatus proved itself to be exactly what the band (and I) needed to regroup and come back stronger than ever. Perhaps without it, they would have never been able to reach such mature and honest territory, as they do on their new album, No Cities to Love.

Sleater-Kinney’s penchant for hard hitting punk beats, flawless, wavering vocal expressions, and well crafted grooves that play fluidly amidst deliberately jagged guitar riffs remain an integral part of their recognizable sound, yet they’ve been sophisticatedly amped up. Their lyrically ambitious viewpoints on feminist and socio-political topics are as determined as they ever were, but feel more firm and grounded. The heightened production value adds a touch of pop sheen but the raw nerve and energy is there: always satisfying, and never stale.

Standout tracks from the album include everything from the urgent discontent of “Price Tag” and “No Anthems” to the upbeat and harmonious “Fangless” — which leaves me quivering with dance fever. Sleater-Kinney has come full circle and become the best versions of themselves that we have ever seen and heard, and truly, there is really not a bad thing I can say about this album. No Cities to Love was kept hush hush during the recording process and leaked by label, Sub-Pop, late last month and will be officially released on Tuesday, January 20th. I highly recommend you let Sleater-Kinney light a fire under your ass and in your heart.

“It’s not the cities, it’s the way that we love” they sing on the title track, and every time I hear that line, I realize that I’m loving Sleater-Kinney wholeheartedly this time around, and I think this time they love me back.

STREAM SLEATER-KINNEY’S NEW ALBUM, CITIES TO LOVE

Sleater-Kinney – “Bury Our Friends” (feat. Miranda July)

 

Sleater-Kinney – “No Cities to Love” (Friends Video)

 

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Sleater-Kinney No Cities To Love Tracklist:
Price Tag
Fangless
Surface Envy
No Cities to Love
A New Wave
No Anthems
Gimme Love
Bury Our Friends
Hey Darling
Fade

Sleater-Kinney 2015 Tour Dates

02-08-15 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory – Spokane (SOLD OUT)
02-09-15 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory – Boise ( TICKETS )
02-10-15 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot ( TICKETS )
02-12-15 Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater (SOLD OUT)
02-13-15 Omaha, NE @ Slowdown (SOLD OUT)
02-14-15 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue (SOLD OUT)
02-15-15 Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater ( TICKETS )
02-17-15 Chicago, IL @ Riviera (SOLD OUT)
02-22-15 Boston, MA @ House of Blues (SOLD OUT)
02-24-15 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club (SOLD OUT)
02-25-15 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club (SOLD OUT)
02-26-15 New York, NY @ Terminal 5 (SOLD OUT)
02-27-15 New York, NY @ Terminal 5 (SOLD OUT)
02-28-15 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer (SOLD OUT)
03-01-15 Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE (SOLD OUT)
03-02-15 Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy ( TICKETS )
03-18-15 Berlin, Germany @ Postbahnhof ( TICKETS )
03-19-15 Amsterdam, The Netherlands @ Paradiso ( TICKETS )
03-20-15 Paris, France @ Cigale ( TICKETS )
03-21-15 Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix ( TICKETS )
03-23-15 London, UK @ Roundhouse (SOLD OUT)
03-24-15 Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall ( TICKETS )
03-25-15 Glasgow, UK @ O2 ABC ( TICKETS )
03-26-15 Dublin, Ireland @ Vicar Street ( TICKETS )
04-16-15 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater ( TICKETS )
04-17-15 Austin, TX @ Stubbs ( TICKETS )
04-18-15 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live ( TICKETS )
04-19-15 New Orleans, LA @ The Civic Theatre ( TICKETS )
04-21-15 Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle ( TICKETS )
04-22-15 Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz ( TICKETS )
04-23-15 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works ( TICKETS )
04-24-15 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works ( TICKETS )
04-25-15 Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note ( TICKETS )
04-26-15 Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater ( TICKETS )
04-28-15 Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater ( TICKETS )
04-29-15 Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee Theatre ( TICKETS )
05-01-15 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium ( TICKETS )
05-02-15 San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic (SOLD OUT)
05-03-15 San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic ( TICKETS )
05-05-15 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
05-06-15 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom ( TICKETS )
05-07-15 Seattle, WA @ The Showbox (SOLD OUT)
05-08-15 Seattle, WA @ The Showbox (SOLD OUT)
05-09-15 Seattle, WA @ The Showbox (SOLD OUT)

 

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