Jars of Clay. I loved their 1990s hit, “Flood.” I’ve seen them in concert half a dozen times. And they’re still going strong these days! Their 11th studio album is called Inland.
Produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Beth Orton, The Decemberists), Jars’ new music finds singer Dan Haseltine and the band made up of Steve Mason, Charlie Lowell and Matthew Odmark doing what they do best– keeping music creative, even after 20+ years.
“These are songs for the ordinary days – when life is weighty and uncertain,” says Matthew Odmark from the band Jars of Clay. “It is this middle space that we have inhabited over the years. It’s where you and I do the gritty work of actually living.”
With the title track featured exclusively as RollingStone.com’s free “Daily Download,” the music on Inland has a rich cinematic quality, marked by Lowell’s lush keyboard melodies, Odmark’s strong acoustic rhythm guitar and Mason’s serpentine bass lines.
The album’s first single and upcoming video, “After The Fight,” featuring the atmospheric guitar textures of Adrian Belew, has a low-key swagger that brings to mind the intergalactic art rock of Bowie and Peter Murphy.
“We asked Adrian Belew if he’d come in and work his magic,” explains Haseltine. “He produced two songs on our first record, but we were too intimidated to let him play guitar. This time he added his big, wild, twanging guitar sound, the reverse solos and all the other effects he’s famous for.”
Following years on labels, Inland marks Jars of Clay’s first independent release, “We’ve had enough experience with record labels working a project because they have to,” says Haseltine. “Everyone we work with loves the record and wants to help us build something as a band with a big creative vision.”
Part of that creative vision is to shatter some of the preconceived notions built over the years by label marketing strategies. “It took a long time to strip away every voice that wasn’t ours to make Inland,” explains Haseltine. “For me, it’s always been about a great song. We want to connect with people who love music for music. That’s why created our own label.”
Jars of Clay tours often, playing music from Inland and fan favorites spanning the band’s repertoire.