My Morning Jacket: Back to Basics on New Album

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My Morning Jacket
WRITTEN BY
William Goodman

My Morning Jacket will look back at their decade-long career from October 18-23 by performing each of their five albums, in chronological order, over as many nights in New York City. After the gigs, the Louisville, KY, band will continue work on their sixth studio album, and bassist Tom "Two-Tone Tommy" Blankenship tells SPIN.com that the LP is also returning MMJ to their "laid back" roots.

For their upcoming release, expected in early 2011, the band are using a big, raw space near their hometown and are producing the album themselves, rather than work 12 hours per day in a high-tech New York studio with a big-name producer, as they did with 2008's Evil Urges.

"It's worlds apart from what we were doing with Evil Urges," says Blankenship. "This time it's just the five of us; the control room is only separated by a curtain [Laughs]. We're going back to a similar vibe that we had on the first three records. It's definitely more laid back than it's been in a while."

The vibe with the recording sessions is translating to their sound, too: They are revisiting the reverb-drenched, Southern rock sound that launched their career.

"There's a lot, a lot, a lot of bleed going on," explains Blankenship. "It's got that vibe to it where it sounds likes everybody is in the same room. Even if someone is only playing on half of a song, you can still feel their presence."

Blankenship says that My Morning Jacket recorded for two weeks in June and July, and are "a third of the way through" the album. Five songs are completed, including "Circuital" and "Wonderful," which, "we actually recorded a couple different versions of for Evil Urges, but it never worked out."

"All five of those new songs feel distinctly different from one another," Blankenship adds.

My Morning Jacket's special concert series kicks off Oct. 18 at Terminal 5, with a performance of their 1999 debut release, The Tennessee Fire. The run continues with 2001's At Dawn on Oct. 19, 2003's It Still Moves on Oct. 21, 2005's Z on Oct. 22, and 2008's Evil Urges on Oct. 23.

What do you think about MMJ returning to their roots on their next album? Tell us in the comment section!

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