The Chicago band Wilco will release their 10th studio album, Schmilco, on Sept. 9, with a special early release for vinyl on Tuesday, September 6. Schmilco features 12 new songs written by Jeff Tweedy and is the band’s third release on their own dBpm Records. It follows Star Wars, which was released for free and as a surprise in July 2015.
Mostly an acoustic collection, Schmilco bears neither the vicious, fuzz-glam guitars of Star Wars, nor the dazzling, baroque-ish arrangements that fans have come to expect from Wilco. But in their place is a spaciousness and chaos that might feel welcome after 20-some years of enjoyed but now-familiar Wilco releases. It is an intentionally loose affair.
Schmilco finds band leader Tweedy in a state of alienation: how to cope with dissonance between self-identity and the public perception of his band – to maintain an innocence and earnestness even as some have come to see him as more (or less) than human, and Wilco as something other than six musicians?