JJUUJJUU Premiere Title Track From Upcoming Album ‘Zionic Mud’ Via Noisey
Rising LA heavy psych stalwarts JJUUJJUU are currently midway through a cross-country tour supporting stoner rock legends Earthless and Japan’s Kikagaku Moyo, in the build up to the release of their debut album Zionic Mud. The album was announced last month with the Consequence of Sound premiere of the single “Camo,” accompanied by a remix of the track produced by Liars, and today JJUUJJUU are unveiling the album’s title track with Noisey, alongside an alternate take from Warpaint’s Jennylee.
While the album’s first single saw the band exploring an expansive style of subtly danceable space rock, the second sees them direct their energies towards the more hard-driving, krautrock-inspired edge of their sound, establishing an unbalanced groove that serves as the foundation for a series of elaborately constructed arrangements of guitar and vocal loops. For Jennylee’s cut, she makes the song her own by seeking out the spaces in the album version, adding and emphasizing electronic elements and contributing her own vocal to turn the track into a kind of warped duet with JJUUJJUU leader Phil Pirrone.
The collaborative ethos, a recurrent feature of an album release that will involve re-interpretations of the album’s tracks from JJUUJJUU supporters like J. Mascis, METZ, the aforementioned Liars and Autolux, plays into the song’s subject matter, which speaks to Pirrone’s experience as both a musician and the founder and mastermind of the Desert Daze festival, as Pirrone explains to Noisey:
“‘Zionic Mud’ is the one track on the record that didn’t start in a bedroom with a loop pedal. It was written in the practice space in a very collaborative way – Mason brought in a bass line, and the drums and guitars as you hear them on the recording are the first thing either of us played around the initial riff. The whole process was very fast and exciting, and this track marks the time when JJUUJJUU was no longer a duo – it really started to feel like a group at that point.
All of my lyrics are sung first and written down later, so sometimes it takes me a minute to realize what they are about, and sometimes that changes the longer I sit with a song, but lyrically, “Zionic Mud” seems to be about the process of trusting people and being let down in a working relationship. A process that any adult goes through – finding someone to create with, or to do a job, then being let down by them (or letting them down!); the process of wondering if they aren’t doing their job, or if you’re not doing your job, or if it’s some combination of the two (or neither) – and the latter doesn’t even occur to you as an option for a while. I guess this is in the context of the music industry because that’s what I know. We’re all just looking for someone sane and reliable to collaborate with or depend on, but sadly, this industry attracts a lot of jokers with drug and/or personality problems who are making it up as they go. “Zionic Mud” is about them and me, and all of us working together, and hoping we’re getting better.
In support of the release, JJUUJJUU will be touring extensively around North America, following the Earthless tour with a stop at Levitation in Austin, before embarking ona string of dates with Ariel Pink, DIIV, Nick Hakim, & SUUNS as part of the Desert Daze Caravan, and another national tour with Primus and Mastodon later in the year.