GRAMMY and Dove Awards winning band Jars of Clay is set to release its eleventh studio album, Inland, on its own Gray Matters label with distribution through Tone Tree. Produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Beth Orton, The Decemberists) and mixed by Beau Sorenson and Jacquire King, Inland is available today for pre-order and will be available Aug. 27.
It’s been nearly twenty years since Dan Haseltine, Steve Mason, Charlie Lowell and Matthew Odmark released their debut Frail. Students at the time, Jars of Clay once again harness the youthful ambition and uninhibited creativity of their beginnings for Inland, while cultivating a maturity in sound with embellishments of violin, horns and ambient melodies that attests two decades of experience.
“These are songs for the ordinary days – when life is weighty and uncertain,” reflects Matthew Odmark. “It is this middle space that we have inhabited over the years. It’s where you and I do the gritty work of actually living.”
The music on Inland has a rich cinematic quality, marked by Lowell’s lush keyboard melodies, Odmark’s strong acoustic rhythm guitar and Mason’s serpentine bass lines. The album’s first single and upcoming video, “After The Fight,” featuring the atmospheric guitar textures of Adrian Belew, has a low-key swagger that brings to mind the intergalactic art rock of Bowie and Peter Murphy. “We asked Adrian Belew if he’d come in and work his magic,” explains Haseltine. “He produced two songs on our first record, but we were too intimidated to let him play guitar. This time he added his big, wild, twanging guitar sound, the reverse solos and all the other effects he’s famous for.”
Following years on labels, Inland marks Jars of Clay’s first independent release, “We’ve had enough experience with record labels working a project because they have to,” says Haseltine. “Everyone we work with loves the record and wants to help us build something as a band with a big creative vision.”
Part of that creative vision is to shatter some of the preconceived notions built over the years by label marketing strategies. “It took a long time to strip away every voice that wasn’t ours to make Inland,” explains Haseltine. “For me, it's always been about a great song. We want to connect with people who love music for music. That's why created our own label.”
Jars of Clay is currently on tour, playing new music from Inland and fan favorites spanning the band’s repertoire that includes 16 No. 1 songs. Confirmed tour dates follow:
August 15 BIRMINGHAM, AL WorkPlay Theater^ August 16 CHARLOTTE, NC Amos’ Southend^ August 17 KNOXVILLE, TN Bijou Theater^ August 18 CHARLESTON, SC The Music Farm^ August 21 GREENVILLE, SC The Handlebar^ August 23 JACKSONVILLE, FL Murray Hill Theater^ August 24 ORLANDO, FL The Social^ August 25 ST. PETERSBURG, FL State Theatre^ August 29 NASHVILLE, TN 3rd & Lindsley September 10 LITTLE ROCK, AR Revolution Music Room# September 11 TULSA, OK The Vanguard# September 12 HUTCHINSON, KS Kansas State Fair# September 13 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO The Black Sheep# September 14 SALT LAKE CITY, UT Urban Lounge# September 15 BOISE, ID Knitting Factory# September 17 SEATTLE, WA Puyallup County Fair# September 18 PORTLAND, OR Aladdin Theater# September 20 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA SLO Brewing Co. September 21 PALMDALE, CA Palmdale Amphitheatre# September 22 SANTA ANA, CA The Observatory September 24 MESA, AZ Mesa Arts Center# September 25 ALBUQUERQUE, NM The Lobo Theater# September 27 DALLAS, TX House of Blues, Cambridge Room# October 23 SPRINGFIELD, MO Gillioz Theatre * Brooke Waggoner ^ The Last Bison # Brooke Waggoner/Kye Kye