XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “You’re Not Alone” by Semisonic
In 2001, the Minneapolis band Semisonic decided to go on hiatus. In 2019 the band reunited for a series of shows and in July of that year performed three unreleased songs for their hometown public radio station, The Current. One of the songs they performed then, “You’re Not Alone,” has just been released along with an announcement of a new EP coming in the Fall of 2020.
Semisonic began in 1995 and formed out of the ashes of Trip Shakespeare, who went from local indie stardom to major labeldom in the late 80s, early 90s. The band included Dan Wilson and John Munson; Jacob Slichter joined the duo on drums to form Semisonic. The band’s sophomore 1998 release, Feeling Strangely Fine, became their breakout album, anchored by the massive breakout radio hit song, “Closing Time.” In 2001, after the release of their third album Chemistry, the band went on hiatus.
During their time apart, lead singer Dan Wilson worked with a number of artists as a producer and writing and co-writing songs for The Chicks, Adele (including the massive global hit song “Someone Like You”), and others including Chris Stapleton, Leon Bridges, Weezer, and My Morning Jacket. Slichter, who currently teaches creative non-fiction at Sarah Lawrence College, wrote a memoir about the band in 2004. Munson continues to play music in several bands including The New Standards and The Twilight Hours.
The songs on the soon-to-be-released EP by Semisonic actually started as songs Wilson would write for Liam Gallagher, one of Wilson’s favorite singers. But while Gallagher’s record was finished, Wilson realized they would work for his “old” band, and during sessions in Los Angeles, Wilson, along with Munson and Slichter, clicked back into action.
Below, listen to “You’re Not Alone,” the title song to the five song EP, out on September 18. It’s about as classic a Semisonic song as you can get.