With the release of second Jicks album Real Emotional Trash (the first with Sleater-Kinney's Janet Weiss) just weeks away, all the indie world's clamoring for a taste of Stephen Malkmus' tuneful musings, and, though Pitchfork got there first, we're honored to share "Baltimore" with the legend's adopted hometown. It's nothing too far afield, of course—sidewinder riff sidling around perfectly-pitched backdrop, Weiss' drums relatively restrained, and that instantly familiar voice guiding us through ineffable metaphors with cocksure aplomb. At six and a half minutes, it's less an epic than pleasant stroll through varying styles, sea shanty to prog, enlivened by studio wizardry and the inimitable Malkmusian lyrical ("arboreal Sleestacks lost in the sticks") eccentricities. As evidenced by this track, the adorable postgrad shtick of youth has blossomed towards a more assured, approachable songcraft that leaves us frankly giddy for the album itself. They're not really a singles band, you know.
Image: The cover of Real Emotional Trash, courtesy of Matador.