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Wilco Bask In ‘Hot Sun’ On New EP

Six-song project stems from material recorded during sessions for 2023's 'Cousin'
Wilco (photo: Akash Wadhwani)

Wilco will release a new digital EP, Hot Sun Cool Shroud, on June 28 to coincide with its long-running Solid Sound festival taking place that same weekend at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Ma. The six-song project features material recorded but not completed during sessions for the band’s 2023 album Cousin.

“It’s fun to have something new to release at Solid Sound,” Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy says. “This year weʼre putting out an EP with a summertime-after-dark kind of feeling. It starts off pretty hot, like heat during the day, has some instrumentals on it that are a little agitated and uncomfortable and ends with a cooling breeze. There are tracks on Hot Sun Cool Shroud that are more aggressive and angular than anything weʼve put out in a while, and a song about love melting you like ice cream into a puddle of sugary soup. All the pieces of summer, including the broody cicadas.”

A unique white vinyl pressing of Hot Sun Cool Shroud will be available only at Solid Sound, comprised of images from Kathleen Ryan’s “Bad Fruit” series. At the festival, fans will be able to design their own cover by using ink stamps and stickers with Ryan’s fruit sculptures, with one fan-submitted cover to be chosen for the physical release later this year.

Tweedy told SPIN last year an EP of extra material would likely be forthcoming from the Cousin sessions, which were produced by fellow musician Cate Le Bon. “I don’t ever think anything’s wasted,” he said. “I just start thinking about another Wilco record. I’ll probably review things and see if anything sounds really fresh to me. Sometimes nothing does. Sometimes it’s like, oh God, now I know what to do with that! Often songs don’t end up on a record not because they didn’t turn out great, but because they just don’t fit. I think that there’s probably an EP’s worth of the Cate-involved stuff that still is worth putting out.”

Drummer Glenn Kotche also told SPIN at the time that the unfinished songs were “very much of the same Cousin vibe. Cate had to make tough decisions, and so did Jeff. I would have included some of those. I might have had a different track list if it were up to me, because some of them do fit in, and there are some I really liked and felt strongly about.”

At Solid Sound, Wilco will be joined by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Wednesday, Dry Cleaning, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets, Horsegirl, Ratboys and Water From Your Eyes. The band will play multiple headline sets during the weekend, while Tweedy and fellow members Kotche, Nels Kline, John Stirratt and Mikael Jorgensen will perform either solo or with other musicians. Iris Dement, Soul Glo, Ratboys, Courtney Marie Andrews, Young Fresh Fellows and a Sylvan Esso DJ set round out the musical lineup.

Here is the track list for Hot Sun Cool Shroud:

1. Hot Sun
2. Livid
3. Ice Cream
4. Annihilation
5. Inside the Bell Bones
6. Say You Love Me