Going into their third decade, Chicago indie-rockers Joan of Arc make music that begs not just to be enjoyed, but solved. Of course, so do Rubik’s Cubes. The sonic collagists’ 18th (17th? 19th?) album (and first in five years) “He’s Got the Whole This Land Is Your Land in His Hands” arrives Jan. 20 via Joyful Noise Recordings. Joan of Arc’s lone constant member Tim Kinsella teamed up with Bobby Burg, Theo Katsaounis, Melina Ausikaitis and Jeremy Boyle (who returns to the band after departing in 2005) to create the record in an interesting manner. “We had to throw away the 38 songs I wrote that I thought I liked before we could really begin,” Kinsella explains. “We’d spend a full day setting up the instruments so that we could move freely between them. We’d record hour-long jams with everyone constantly switching instruments. Then together we edited those down. Two of us had to learn Pro Tools. Once we had 16 distinct units, then me and Melina sat down and wrote the lyrics.”
The video for “Two-Toothed Troll” was made last July 3 and 4 in Chicago amid incidental fireworks. The song, Kinsella says,”is the light counterpoint to a much darker song [‘Grange Hex Stream’] made from a few of the same elements. It’s the ‘911 is a Joke’ of our album, the pop song on which the other singer takes the lead to comment on the same recurring themes. And the video testifies to the fact that a couple of us spend an inordinate amount of time on skateboards for people hovering around 40 years old.”
||| Watch: The video for “Two-Toothed Troll”
||| Also: Watch the video for “This Must Be the Placenta”
||| Live: Joan of Arc performs Feb. 9 at the Satellite, along with Magas and Jimmy Whispers. Tickets.