Superchunk Scream Helplessly at the Sky

The theory that political turmoil fuels great art will be tested on February 16. That’s when What a Time to Be Alive, Superchunk’s first new album since 2013’s I Hate Music, hits the streets. Earlier this year the Chapel Hill quartet unleashed the Planned Parenthood benefit 7-inch “I Got Cut,” which included the memorable line “Family planning/ Free Chelsea Manning” and a cover of an unjustly forgotten Tom Robinson Band nugget.

Superchunk wrote the album in a 100-day flurry following the 2016 election and isn’t shy about its subject matter – based on the advance title track Mac McCaughan and company were inspired to return to the joyous, hook-filled punk fury of their early days.

What a Time also features a new twist – gang backing vocals from a crew of friends, including Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt. Superchunk hits Terminal West on April 26 – minus founding bassist Laura Ballance, who’s bowed out of the touring lineup.