Semisonic – Basement Tapes

Thanks to great tunes like Closing Time, Secret Smile and Chemistry, Semisonic are one of my favourite bands from around the turn of the century. In 2002, following their third album All About Chemistry, the band went on an indefinite hiatus. However, they never broke up. In the meantime, frontman Dan Wilson built a successful career of his own. He was a songwriter and producer for the likes of Pink, Dixie Chicks and Adele, as wel as a solo artist. He is quoted as saying he found it difficult to write new material that sounded like Semisonic.

In 2017, Wilson met Liam Gallagher with the intention to write new songs for the latter. Eventually, the two didn’t work together. Wilson felt the sketches of the songs he wrote for Gallagher were more suitable for Semisonic instead.

In the summer of that year, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their 2016 debut album Great Divide, Semisonic reunited for a series of shows. At these occasions, they played Great Divide in its entirety. At the end of that year, commemorating the upcoming 20th anniversary of their sophomore album Feeling Strangely Fine, they performed the whole of that album a few times. Last year, they came together again to do some more gigs. During these 2017-2019 shows, they also played some of Wilson’s new, previously unreleased ‘Gallagher’ songs.

These tracks have now been properly recorded and released on the EP You’re Not Alone. This is Semisonic’s first collection of new material in 19 years. It contains five fine examples of craft song-writing, as we’ve come to expect. Basement Tapes is my favourite. A great pop-rock song, very well sung and executed by Wilson and his band. A welcome return.

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