Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace surprise-released Stay Alive — her first-ever solo outing — at midnight on Oct. 1.
The 14-song LP, produced by Steve Albini, “takes all her pent-up fears, anger, and anxiety and releases it, like an olive branch to the weary listeners who are feeling those exact same ways,” says the album’s bio on Polyvinyl Records’ site.
Stay Alive is now streaming everywhere and can be pre-ordered at the Polyvinyl Store; physical copies will be available Dec. 11.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Against Me! kicked off a tour that was supposed to see the lineup joining with Baroness in May. Of course, the tour — along with every other one in the world — was canceled.
What did Grace do? “I sat around for a month-and-a-half at a home just being shellshocked being like, ‘What the fuck happened and what the fuck is happening with the world?’” As I started to get my bearings, I just came to the realization that waiting was going to kill the record and kill the songs,” says Grace in the album’s bio.
“I spent two years working on all these songs, and the idea of throwing them away didn’t sit well with me,” says Grace. “But then I was like, ‘What am I waiting for?’ All I have to do is adjust my scope. I can sit here on my fucking ass and do nothing, or I can work.”
A full stream of Stay Alive is below.
Stay Alive was recorded only with an acoustic guitar and occasional drum machine. “I just want to put this out because it makes me feel alive and it’s giving me something better than sitting here losing my mind while the world falls apart,” Grace says in the album’s bio. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about what you do. Just stay alive.”
The topical album’s theme is summed up in the song “Blood & Thunder,” where Grace sings: “When you give in and quit / There’s a power to be found in it.”