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ICYMI: Mark Lanegan released an album in 2018

Mark Lanegan With Animals

So much music comes out all year, and even with our daily new song roundups; weekly Notable ReleasesIndie Basement, and Upcoming Metal Releases columns; and monthly playlist of songs we like, we still miss stuff. Now that we’re in the final month of 2018 and looking back on all the music that came out this year, we’ll be publishing a post every weekday in December that catches up on some music released this year that we feel we didn’t shine enough of a light on, or didn’t discuss at all. The music we’ll be highlighting wasn’t necessarily “overlooked” in any broader sense of the word, just cool stuff worth catching up on in case you missed it.

Mark Lanegan is a living legend. He fronted Screaming Trees, whose psychedelic proto-grunge heavily influenced the Seattle sound’s mainstream boom and who went on to score a few grunge-era hits of their own. He’s also been an active solo artist since before Nevermind or Ten existed, a contributor to grunge supergroup Mad Season, a very frequent contributor to Queens of the Stone Age, and a collaborator of several others. Over three decades into his career, the guy remains so prolific that it’d be understandable if you missed one or two things he did. Last year, he put out the very good Gargoyle, and he quickly followed it this year with With Animals, his second collaborative album with Duke Garwood (following 2013’s Black Pudding).

In recent years, Mark’s music has been taking a dark, brooding, bluesy sound that shows his age in a graceful way. Mark’s music has grizzled and wisened in a way that’s similar to late-period albums by Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, and Swans. And if you like those artists’ recent albums, you’ll probably like what Mark’s been doing too. Compared to Gargoyle, With Animals sounds even more wearied. It also sounds more psychedelic and makes greater use of loops and drum machines. A song like album opener “Save Me” is a trippy, atmospheric, drum machine-backed rock song that you could almost picture fitting on a new Thom Yorke record. Even when With Animals works in modern and more electronic sounds, though, Mark’s gravelly delivery and bluesy melodies keep things sounding earthy and seasoned. It’s a cool record and we’re lucky to have a true lifer like Mark still making music this powerful. If you haven’t heard it, stream it and watch a couple videos from the album below.

Meanwhile, the Mark Lanegan Band (of which Duke Garwood is also a member) have been getting announced on many of the 2019 hard rock festivals, including Sonic Temple, Epicenter, and Welcome to Rockville. They’re also playing the more indie rock-oriented Shaky Knees festival. Those are only his only 2019 dates announced at the moment, but stay tuned in case more are added.

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