The Jayhawks have today released “Bitter Pill,” the latest song from the band’s most collaborative album to date – XOXO, out July 10 via Sham/Thirty Tigers. Written by Gary Louris, Tim O’Reagan and Karen Grotberg, “Bitter Pill” is a harmony-rich, infectious new track that illustrates the never-ending search for happiness. The Jayhawks also appeared on this weekend’s CBS This Morning: Saturday, performing two songs off the new album, “This Forgotten Town” and “Living In A Bubble,” in addition to their 2018 song “Gonna Be A Darkness.”
Listen to “Bitter Pill” via YouTube:
Watch the band’s CBS This Morning: Saturday performances:
“This is a rare example of me writing a story song,” Louris explains. “I tend towards stream of consciousness writing, but ‘Bitter Pill’ is a linear lyric that explores the tendency for some of always searching for the next fix of happiness, the missing piece…never being happy with what one has. It is really a continuation on the theme of my song ‘Lovers Of The Sun’ from our Paging Mr. Proust album. It is a theme that hits close to home for me. And the song really blossomed when my old pal and forever Jayhawk Stephen McCarthy played such beautiful and blistering B-Bender guitar on it.”
After 30 years together, The Jayhawks have delivered their most diverse and wide-ranging set of songs to date. XOXO marks a new era for the band, with all four members contributing to lead vocals and songwriting for the first time. Showcasing The Jayhawks’ unrelenting ability to evolve while staying true to their authentic sound, the new album reminds us why they continue to be such an influential and respected band. XOXO has already garnered early coverage from BrooklynVegan, MOJO, UNCUT, Billboard and Rolling Stone, who praised the opening track “This Forgotten Town” as a “jangly roots-pop gem.”
Carrying on their success since returning to the core members from the late-90’s lineup, The Jayhawks released Paging Mr. Proust in 2016 and Back Roads and Abandoned Motels in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. The culmination of five years spent growing even more together, XOXO is a sonically and emotionally cohesive album that stands as a testament to the band’s consistent forward motion.