What many devoted Sleater-Kinney fans hoped for, following the departure of longtime drummer Janet Weiss in 2019, appears to resurface in their latest single, released on October 3rd. “Hell” is an emotionally-charged track that marks a departure from the more groove-focused, soft alt-pop direction the band had been exploring, a style many felt was somewhat inauthentic after decades of Sleater-Kinney’s unapologetic, non-conformist nature, and loud presence in the music scene. Instead, this new single, while not entirely abandoning the pop elements they’d been experimenting with, reintroduces nostalgic elements of their rock essence, aligning more closely with what fans cherish about Sleater-Kinney.
The song delves into dark themes, placing moments of instrumental chaos amid a tense-yet-approachable chorus, accented by Corin Tucker’s evocative vocals and sequential keyboard notes. It captures feelings of uncertainty, confusion, and distraction that escalate into internal turmoil and emotional instability, mirroring the sensation of losing control in an unpredictable world. This single embodies the maturity displayed in Sleater-Kinney’s recent releases while retaining its ability to disrupt the rigid rhythms of conformity, a hallmark of their sound.
As the first glimpse of their upcoming album, Little Rope — which releases on January 19th on Loma Vista — this single generates anticipation and excitement among both new and longtime fans, many of whom express a renewed appreciation and the sense that Sleater-Kinney is finding its stride again after a couple of albums that may not have fully resonated.
Yet, as we await the new year’s arrival, we can savor the anticipation of what this teaser holds. Sleater-Kinney is set to kick off a U.S. tour on February 28th in California, including a performance at Philadelphia’s Theater of the Living Arts in March. Don’t miss out on the chance to secure your tickets before they’re gone, and witness this iconic female rock duo doing what they do best, bringing the intensity; details at WXPN’s Concerts and Events page.