Released: Feb 2012
Label: Merge Records
Mixing countrypolitan gentility with barstool-bard acidity, Nashville's most eccentric "alt" institution keeps it weird and wonderful on their 11th (!) record, a sweetly soporific haze of loping Americana shuffles and swooning strings and cracked non-sequitur profundity -- wily frontman Kurt Wagner croaks and croons like a meaner, wittier Cat Stevens. Plenty of inscrutable yearbook quotes here: "God made us rational/ Thought made you stereo/ I think of you today/ Boy, what an a-hole," or maybe try, "The rain tasted like sunshine in a basement." Once you get it, it's got you for good.