Cautiously Optimistic

Fifteen Hopefuls Make Up Austin's Musical Class of 2001

Cautiously Optimistic
Photo By Todd V. Wolfson

Spoon

Title: Girls Can Tell

Label: Merge

Release Date: February 20

His Assessment: "It's the best Spoon album by far," says Britt Daniel of the trio's first LP since its 1998 parting with Elektra. "It's got the best songs, best lyrics, and best playing. It's a lot more emotional. People that have heard it say it's very different than our other records."

What's Different?: Daniel thinks Girls is stronger sonically and emotionally than 1998's A Series of Sneaks, but can't put his finger on why. "Maybe it was discovering the Kinks' Sixties catalog," he muses. "With the last record, we were trying to make a record in the vein of a late-Seventies/early-Eighties post-punk band. It may not sound like that, but it was the aim. This is less obtuse."

Expectations: "Are we gonna sell a million records on Merge? No," Daniel says. "Neither the buzz [from 1996 Matador release Telephono] nor the major-label push seemed to do anything for me. I think we'll actually have more opportunities now in that we're working with a label that's good decent people who aren't going to leave us out in the rain."

Daniel says he'll be more than content spreading the word onstage (they'll head out with Superchunk in February before a headlining tour), but he's also made pre-release copies available to local stations KLBJ, KGSR, and 101X. In his ears, "Everything Hits at Once" could in fact hit all three's playlists. "I don't know they'll play it," he says, "but I gave it to them because it's good and I'm proud of it."

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