Louisville music fans seem divided over My Morning Jacket, with some folks absolutely swearing by everything they do, while others have a less accepting view writing the band off as overrated or boring. The thing is, I have no idea why they’re so polarizing. While they make music that’s not quite the sort that I’d listen to all the time, it’s perfectly enjoyable music. Hell, even if it’s not the kind of thing you like at all, I have no idea why you wouldn’t just think it’s cool that some hometown indie folks have made such a great go at it, garnering international press and all that. I get not wanting a MMJ tattoo or something, but why sit around hating on everything? It’s a bad look on you, cousin.
What is worth a listen though, love it or not, is this edition of the podcast Song Exploder. The premise of the series is to explore the nuts and bolts of a song, the mechanics that make everything possible. Episodes address not only the individual components of a track, but also the composition and construction of each song covered from the very first idea of the song, to the final product. This particular episode attends to”Spring (Among the Living)” by My Morning Jacket, a song off their impending album that deals with that feeling of rebirth so part and parcel to spring in Kentucky. We’re all feeling that right now too, no matter how big of a hater you are. The sun is out and there is an undeniable energy in the air equally attributable to the insanity of Derby, the upcoming Avengers movie, and the arrival of Free Comic Book Day, the holiest of all high holidays.
It’s interesting to hear how everything came together here, and offers a lot of insight as to how the band works together, especially in living apart. There is a lot of restraint in the final product, relative to an experience commensurate with their maturity. Singer-songwriter Jim James is the main voice on the podcast, but he seems humble and easy going, not to mention powerfully Louisvillian; just listen to his logic behind why he used an amplified acoustic guitar, and tell me that’s not the heart of a punk rocker speaking.
You can listen to the episode here, and you check out the video for the song below.