When the two lead singer, outlaw-country outfit Uncle Tupelo broke up in 1994, singer Jeff Tweedy formed the band Wilco and, in doing so, created alt-country music which built upon the sound of Minnesota's The Jayhawks and won over a whole new legion of alternative rock fans in the process. Today, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't know (and doesn't love) Wilco and its remarkably consistent discography.
Meanwhile, singer Jay Farrar continued doing what he did best with Uncle Tupelo and formed Son Volt. Though it has only attained about half of the popularity of Wilco, Son Volt makes some fantastic music. No more is this evident than on "Ten Second News," the fifth track of its debut album Trace.
Over a hauntingly beautiful chord progression, Farrar creates a remarkabley vivid imagery of loneliness. With lyrics as inventive as "it's hard enough soaking up billboard signs" and "there's a beach there known for cancer," Farrar is absolutely captivating. His drop d-tuned, acoustic guitar shines in a beautiful drone against his deep voice and the band never allows their accomplished chops to take focus away from the composition. Drums brush against the track like a car passing highway lights and an electric guitar slides around likes clouds slowly drifting in a night sky. In less than four minutes, Son Volt was able to create a true epic, with enough meat to feel twice as long. Enjoy.
"Ten Second News" by Son Volt