In 2010, Marnie Stern released her self-titled third album. It was a heavy listen. Stern grappled with loss and death with so much nuance—even the saddest songs reached these ecstatic peaks that felt like she was figuring out how to cope as she was recording the songs. It was also an incredibly busy album, drummer Zach Hill was playing some of most unrelenting drums I’ve heard from him, and Stern’s guitar work was so intricate that it was sometimes hard to figure out what to focus on. It made for an overwhelming listen that rewarded infinite listens. Stern’s back with The Chronicles of Marnia (haha), and first single “Year of the Glad,” which manages to hold onto that running-through-some-field-somewhere-with-complete-abandon feeling, but dial back the business. Maybe part of this is that she’s now got Oneida’s Kid Millions on drums—he’s playing formidably, but sticking to the background, allowing Stern’s moments of clarity to breathe. The Chronicles of Marnia is out March 19th.
Stream: Marnie Stern, “Year of the Glad”