J Mascis gives away lilting acoustic song from first solo studio LP, due in March

Sort of surprising fact: “Several Shades of Why,” the forthcoming LP from Dinosaur Jr. guitarist J Mascis, is his first-ever solo studio record.

Then again, maybe it’s not so surprising, given how busy Mascis keeps with Dinosaur, Sweet Apple, Witch, his various other projects and appearances on other people’s records, including, in recent years, albums by Dead Confederate and the Hold Steady. (Also: he’s a golfer?)

Recorded at Bisquiteen Studios in Amherst, Mass. (aka, J’s house), the album departs from the monolithic piles of sludgy guitar Mascis tends to favor for a mellower acoustic sound — a “delicacy not always associated with his work,” in the words of Sub Pop, which releases the album March 15.

The 10-track collection features a hefty roster of collaborators, including Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road) and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees).

Because he’s a generous, if inscrutable, guy, Mascis is giving away a tune. Built around acoustic guitar and tambourine, “Not Enough” puts the emphasis on Mascis’ soulful voice, which is enveloped in lovely harmonies.

Photo by Timothy Herzog

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