New Jennifer O' Connor - "Here With Me" (Plus MFR Ticket Giveaway)
Jennifer O'Connor's fourth album, Here With Me, may not be out until August 19th, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some tastily legal MP3s from the record. Matablog recently released the second MP3 from the album, which also happens to be the record's title track. But before we give our take on the song, let's delve a little bit into O'Connor's background as a musician.
O'Connor released her first self-titled solo album in 2002, with follow-up effort, 2005's The Color and the Light drawing solid reviews and comparisons to everyone from Jenny Lewis, to Liz Phair, to Stephen Malkmus. Her first effort for Matador, 2006's Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back To The Stars, was inspired by the deaths of her two sisters, as well as the disintegration of a relationship before the album's start. But instead of releasing an album filled with woe-is-me laments filled with miserabilist anthems questioning God and life (which, given the events of her life, she very much had the right to do), Stars is filled with a simple, plaintive, and very matter-of-fact power. "God keeps us guessing/and I've been guessing hard" goes a key passage from "Century Estates" (it's also the song that contains the album's titular phrase). In the wrong hands, a line like that could sound hyperbolic and melodramatic, even if it came from an honest place. However, as stated in as simple and plain a fashion as possible, the line lands like the nugget of contemplative truth it deserves to be.
The Matador bio for O'Connor states that each record subsequent from her debut is better than the last. Listeners won't know for sure until Here With Me's release date, but based on the little bit that Matablog has floated out there that the album will be, at the very least, worthy of your time and effort.
"Valley Road '86" is the kind of intimate, gentle, and real folk song with the rawness that applied to fans of Pre-XO Elliot Smith, or those who first heard Liz Phair's experiments with girly sounds. The title track, by contrast, is a buoyant, but bittersweet blast of folk-pop that wryly address the miserably wonderful complications of love. "Misery loves the cool way you speak to yourself/and I love the cool way you talk to me" goes the first line. The chorus goes "I Want You/Here/With Me", suggesting that, in spite of all her suitor's flaws, she still kinds of digs him. Funny how life works out like that
O'Connor is about set out on a tour supporting Son, Ambulence. Dates are below.
Fri 7/11 Omaha, NE doors 9pm/18 The Slowdown
Sat 7/12 Lincoln, NE doors 9pm/ 18 Box Awesome
Sun 7/13 Kansas City, MO doors TBA Record Bar
Mon 7/14 Columbia, MO doors 9pm Mojo\'s
Fri 7/18 Minneapolis, MN doors 9pm/21 Uptown Bar and Cafe
Sat 7/19 Fargo, ND doors 9pm/21 Aquarium (Dempsey\'s Upstairs)
Sun 7/20 Sioux Falls, SD doors 9pm/18 Nutty\'s North
MFR is giving away tickets to see what should be an excellent show on the 18th! Just leave your name in the comments section, Culture Bully-style, and we will select a winner at random. You'll have until next Wednesday to do so. Sounds good? Sure it does.
Pre-order Here with Me, um, here. There's a chance you might win an autographed copy of the album from Jennifer, so hop to it!
Listen to more here