Song of the Day: Superchunk – What a Time to Be Alive

Song of the Day, The Morning Show w/ John Richards
photo by Lissa Gotwals

By Michael Tedder

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is “What A Time to Be Alive” by Superchunk, from the forthcoming album What a Time to Be Alive, which will be released via Merge Records on February 16th.

Superchunk – What a Time to Be Alive (MP3)

Mac McCaughan just isn't here for any of it. The Superchunk frontman has been guiding his trusty indie-rock institution, as well as his trusty indie rock tastemaking label Merge Records, for close to three decades now. In that time he's seen a lot. And looking at our current landscape, he can only respond with a healthy mix of bewilderment and disgust.

On the title track to their eleventh album, Superchunk sound as fiery as ever. These veterans have only gained power with age, and here they achieve an anthemic grandeur they've previously only hinted at before, one reminiscent of The Who in their prime.

"Clinging to the myth that you were cheated/Yeah, the myth that you were robbed," McCaughan sings, shaking his head at the entitlement and resentment curdling in his country. "The scum, the shame, the fucking lies/Oh what a time to be alive," he concludes on the chorus. Things are bad, and he never expected to see any of this in his lifetime. But he's unphased, or at least unbowed. It's his way of letting his listeners know they we'll all get through this together, offering them some empathy and understanding to pull them through.

Superchunk will play Neumos on Tuesday, February 27th. Until then, check out their KEXP in-studio performance from a few years ago.

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