Freakwater Offers ‘The Asp and the Albatross,’ From First Album in 10 Years

Photo by Tim Furnish.

Photo by Tim Furnish.

Funny, it doesn’t seem like 10 years since Freakwater last released an album. And yet, “Thinking of You …” came out in 2005, and if we subtract that from 2015 — yep, their story checks out. The drought ends next February when the Chicago-via-Louisville band will release “Scheherazade,” and to whet the appetites of alt-indie-country fans everywhere, they’re teasing the album with new song “The Asp and the Albatross,” which premiered on Stereogum.

It’s classic Freakwater: winsomely ramshackle, with arid, trebly guitars ad vocal harmonies that are slightly off-kilter. I seem to recall reading somewhere once that the members of Freakwater were a little persnickety about not getting the credit they thought they deserved for their role in kickstarting the alt-country movement in the 1990s. And maybe they should have gotten more recognition in that regard. But Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean started the band (which has long included David Gay as well) in 1989, two years after Uncle Tupelo formed, and four years after the Jayhawks began, and Freakwater has always hewed closer to traditional country than to punk.

Regardless, it’s only a good thing that they’re finally ready with a new album. “Scheherazade” is due Feb. 5 on Bloodshot.

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