Last month when Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks trotted out a new single and tour dates, you had to wonder whether they had a new album in store. The answer– happily– is yes. It’s called Sparkle Hard, and it’ll be out May 18 on Matador Records. The second song off the album, “Shiggy,” is just the fuzzy, crunchy head-bopper you need to get you over the Monday malaise.

Sparkle Hard promises some “unexpected flourishes,” according to today’s announcement: “Auto-Tune! A fiddle! Guest vocalist Kim Gordon! One seven-minute song with an acoustic folk intro!”
According to the folks at Matador, Malkmus started writing the album in 2015, completed demos in April of last year, and then immediately started recording with producer Chris Funk (The Decemberists) at Halfling, the Portland studio Funk manages.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks (Photo: James Rexroad)

Unfortunately, Malkmus’s shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg, on June 14 and 15, are now sold out, but tickets are still available for some nearby shows, if you don’t mind traveling.
You can pre-order the album here.Here’s the album’s track list:
1. Cast Off
2. Future Suite
3. Solid Silk
4. Bike Lane
5. Middle America
6. Rattler
7. Shiggy
8. Kite
9. Brethren
10. Refute (ft. Kim Gordon)
11. Difficulties / Let Them Eat Vowels