As soon as the first beat of synth hit on the new Pearl Jam single “Dance of the Clairvoyants,” fans were wondering if this was a new direction from the band.
The answer is yes. And no.
Yes, because Pearl Jam has been evolving ever since they transitioned from their smash debut Ten to their equally solid follow-up Vs. The most recent example of their sound shift happened leading up to 2009’s Backspacer when the band put more punk influence into the equation resulting in more concise songs. So Pearl Jam is always charting new courses and “Dance of the Clairvoyants” is the latest example.
But the answer is also no because guitarist Stone Gossard describes the new single as “the outer edge of something that we haven’t tried before,” and promised straight-up rock songs and simple ballads on Gigaton – Pearl Jam’s 11th studio album due out March 27th.
“It’s got it all, I think. And it’s really us. We really did it by ourselves,” Gossard told Zane Lowe of Apple Music's Beats 1 “(Eddie Vedder) did a great job. There was a pile of songs, and he sort of took and really, really, in the last two months, mixed and sort of selected the tracks that really were going to be special. And he did such a great job of bringing everybody’s personalities out. It was probably different than any of us would’ve made individually, but it really captures, I think, the spirit of the band.”
Gossard revealed the band had been working on Gigaton for about three years, which adds specifics to previous comments made by guitarist Mike McCready.
“Making this record was a long journey,” McCready explained. “It was emotionally dark and confusing at times, but also an exciting and experimental road map to musical redemption. Collaborating with my bandmates on Gigaton ultimately gave me greater love, awareness and knowledge of the need for human connection in these times."
Pearl Jam will hit the road in support of the new album beginning March 18th in Toronto. You can get the full tour schedule here.