Videos by American Songwriter
The Baptist Generals explore a common theme — love — on their sophomore album, Jackleg Devotional To The Heart. Don’t expect a collection of gooey ballads and Celine Dion-worthy show-stoppers, though. It took ten long years for the rootsy, lo-fi rock band to record Jackleg, and you can hear that deliberation in the album’s noisy approach. Waves of guitar feedback sweep their way through songs like “Turnunders and Overpasses,” and unexpected instruments like marimba, guitarron and waterphone pop up throughout the other tunes. Jackleg Devotional to the Heart (out May 21 on Sub Pop) may be a love album, but it’s a brainy one, too, the sort of record that targets the head as much as the chest.
“Recently, I was asked if I could write something about the inspiration for this group of songs, and what I hope people might take away from listening to the record,” muses bandleader Chris Flemmons. “‘Just something from the heart,’ they said. Hard to wrap my head around. Questions about what this song or that song means — and what does it mean ‘when you say this ‘here’?’ — are problematic for me. I’m not trying to play coy for the people that would ask me this stuff; it’s just that I like words. Sub-atomic, particulate combinations of words. I’m continually fascinated by a collective unconscious and I spend my time trying to describe feelings that haven’t had name. Abstractions. Nothing tied up in a nice bow at the end. Songs built as my own surreal worlds. And in my mind, what you take from these recordings should be your own.”