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Listen to a new single from Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield’s duo the I Don’t Cares

There is something unmistakable about that chugging electric guitar and that voice —Paul Westerberg’s personality manages to transcend whatever project he’s working on and become untethered from time. The twist this time around, though, is that the Replacements frontman not only sounds re-energized, but downright happy.

A lot of that contentedness seems to be the result of his new partnership with Juliana Hatfield, who makes up the other half of his new project the I Don’t Cares. Many of the songs on their new album, Wild Stab, could be classified as love songs, with titles like “Kissing Break,” Hands Together,” and “Love Out Loud.” And try as they might to prove to the listener that they didn’t put much thought into this project — the vibe is muddy and slapdash, and much of it sounds like it was pieced together from ramshackle of basement recordings — it’s pretty clear that Westerberg and Hatfield do care about this project, perhaps more than they’ve cared about any of their endeavors in quite some time.

What we’re left with is a giddy, messy, lo-fi, and deceptively sparkly little album (actually not so little, with 16 tracks); a collection of well-worn pop songs dressed down in tattered clothes and dusty smirks; a cautious sense of optimism piled under heaps of shakers and tambourines. Listen to “Born for Me” and try not to smile at the sheer glee of it.

  1. Listen The I Don’t Cares, “Born for Me”

“Making this music, that elusive ‘never done this before’ feeling permeated the little room more than once, and it was very welcome,” the I Don’t Cares tell us in their album’s liner notes. As listeners, it’s welcome for us, too.

The I Don’t Cares’ Wild Stab is released this Friday, January 22. Pre-orders are available on Amazon and iTunes. For now, here are some behind-the-scenes selfies from Juliana’s Instagram:

We are the I Don't Cares –our first album is coming soon…

A photo posted by @julianahatfield on

of course we are

A photo posted by @julianahatfield on

We work weekends.

A photo posted by @julianahatfield on

watching "within your reach"

A photo posted by @julianahatfield on

And here is the cover art for the new album:

cover1400x1400

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  • funoka

    This is the best news I’ve heard so far this year. They sound good together. For those who may have missed it, I’ve always liked Juliana’s solo record “How to Walk Away” from 2008.

    • AC Bro

      That was the best record she had made in a long time. Nothing since that has hit that high, but the Minor Alps project with Matthew Caws came close. She always seems to work better with a collaborator (even a good producer).

  • Voice of Reasonish

    I liked the song better the first time Paul did it. The less happy version I guess. Still looking forward the album.

    • Dfactor

      I’m with you. This upbeat version turns the whole song around. I may grow to like it, but for now, I liked Paul’s piano ballad version of this.

  • AllThoseThingsILove

    Sounds like the end credit music to a teen movie from the 90s…

    • Heather Wee

      … And that’s ok by me!

    • dtm

      No idea what you mean by that (is it good or bad?). You mean like the movie “Can’t Hardly Wait”?

  • Nishi Hundan

    Paul should knock it off with his shitty ass drumming. Jesus Christ, get a real fucking drummer.

    • harumph

      The last Mats tour really hammered home how important a talented drummer is to Paul’s music. You know any one of the very talented drummers that Paul has worked with would have been over in a heartbeat to record with these two. Seeing the Replacements again made me fantasize about Paul rerecording his entire solo basement years with the full band.

    • Sam Crow

      Yeah, I’ve always said that. Stereo/Mono and 49 would have been much more superior with a good drummer and they are superior records to begin with.

  • Sounds great!

  • gab4moi

    I love it and JH is goddess, but I got a weird vibe of Corgan/Love duetting back in the 80’s !!??