Wilco’s 12th album, Cruel Country (dBpm Records), released May 2022, will now be available on vinyl and CD formats on Jan. 20, 2023.
The 2xLP gatefold package for Cruel Country, created by Grammy-winning designer Lawrence Azerrad, features postcards, band photographs, and more, while the red and white vinyl LPs are limited to 5,000 copies and will be available at independent record stores.
To commemorate the news, Wilco has also released a new video for their Cruel Country single “A Lifetime to Find,” which finds the band members—Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Pat Sansone, and Nels Cline—encountering paranormal beings at the Elks Lodge in North Adams, Massachusetts, the town where the band’s Solid Sound Festival takes place.
Recorded live at The Loft in Chicago, Cruel Country is a collection of mostly live takes with just a handful of overdubs, and is what Tweedy has called Wilco’s “first country music album.”
“It’s a style of recording that forces a band to surrender control and learn to trust each other, along with each others’ imperfections, musical and otherwise,” said Tweedy in a statement. “‘Cruel Country’ is an American music album about America.”
Tweedy added, “Country music is simply designed to aim squarely at the low-hanging fruit of the truth. If someone can sing it, and it’s given a voice, well, then it becomes very hard not to see. We’re looking at it. It’s a cruel country, and it’s also beautiful. Love it or leave it. Or if you can’t love it, maybe you’ve already left.”
The band recently wrapped up a five-month tour in North America and Europe in support of the album and will play a three-night residency at Eldborg Hall at the Harpa Center in Reykjavik, Iceland, April 6-8 in 2023.
Photo: Photo: Peter Crosby / Pitch Perfect PR