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Ear to the Ground: J Mascis’ “Every Morning”

The first single from the Dinosaur Jr. frontman’s sixth solo album starts off great and gets better—especially on the solos.

Even when J Mascis is crooning over an up-tempo tune, his vocals somehow sound like he tracked them while he was still in bed. And, as with most of his recordings, that sleepy signature singing style is just part of the charm. “Every Morning” is no exception. It starts off with sprightly strummed acoustic guitar before a simple meat-and-potatoes rhythm section ushers in Mascis’ meditative melodies, replete with those high octave harmonies fans know and love. Even when he lets loose on the kinds of punchy Marshall-pushed leads synonymous with all things Dinosaur Jr., it’s the catchy chorus that reminds us how—in addition to being a guitar luminary—he’s also one of the better songwriters of our time.

Tied to a Star also promises guest contributions from Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, Polaris), Cat Power, Pall Jenkins (the Black Heart Procession), and others. More importantly, if the rest of the songs are as great as this one, it will be much more than an album to put on while you’re waiting for the next Dinosaur Jr. release.