Sebadoh Defend Yourself on LP
First New Album in 14 Years!
In 1986, Lou Barlow split off from Dinosaur Jr. and eventually teamed-up with Jason Loewenstein to pursue a strain of musical ideas and aspirations that didn't fit in with Dino's sound. The project he started working on came to be known as Sebadoh, named after a string of nonsense lyrical filler syllables Barlow would frequently murmur into the microphone. Along with Pavement and Guided By Voices, Sebadoh is credited as the deathless 'primal father' of the lo-fi aesthetic.
Sebadoh now returns with their first new full-length LP in 14 years entitled Defend Yourself. The 13-song set finds longtime collaborators Barlow and Lowenstein joined by Bob D’Amico of the Fiery Furnaces on drums. Ending a substantial hiatus, Defend Yourself is more of an organic reformation than a comeback album. In the words of Barlow, “We were always going to make another record. There was never any point where we looked at each other and said, ‘That’s it. We’re done.’ We never actually quit at all - we’ve been making music this whole time."
Barlow, Loewenstein, and D’Amico haven’t wasted their musical talent over the last several years (as evidenced by solo albums, Dinosaur Jr., Fiery Furnaces, Folk Implosion, etc.), however, the Sebadoh name hasn’t surfaced since 1999. Historically speaking, Sebadoh albums have paralleled momentous experiences in Barlow’s life - and this recording is no different. Defend Yourself is saturated with songs of heartache relating to the divorce from his wife and partner of 25 years. According to Barlow, “Your greatest victories and your most crushing defeats have a tendency to give birth to one other."
The new album also marks a return to the self-recorded DIY ethos of early Sebadoh albums (Sebadoh III, Bakesale). A handful of sour experiences with major labels led Sebadoh to self-record and self-produce their new album. "We did 'Defend Yourself' the only way it could have been done: on the cheap and all by ourselves," Barlow states. Though this is hardly the band’s first experience with home recording, technological advances beyond the 4-track cassette have allowed Defend Yourself to easily rank among Sebadoh's most sonically-engaging albums to date.
Barlow adds, "We kept to ourselves during the recording and didn't have much - if any - outside intervention. That, to my mind, makes it a true Sebadoh record and aligns the style of Defend Yourself with our early releases. I used more 4 string guitar on this record than any record since Bakesale. Also, we tuned lower and I reverted back to the downstroke strumming style that I used early on. I made a conscious effort to do what felt the most natural as opposed to trying to streamline the sound as I did with some of the songs on The Sebadoh & Harmacy.”
Sebadoh Defend Yourself Track Listing:
1. I Will
2. Love you Here
4. Defend Yr Self
8. State of Mine
9. Final Days
10. Can't Depend
11. Let It Out