Foo Fighters’ upcoming eighth LP, Sonic Highways, seems less like an album and more like a MacGuffin: It was recorded in eight different studios in eight different cities, with musical icons from each city sitting in on each track, respectively. And, of course, that entire process was filmed for an upcoming eight-part HBO documentary series — which is reportedly an extension of Dave Grohl’s 2013 documentary, Sound City. Along with the Foos and their musical guests, the televised Sonic Highways series will feature interviews with people like Dolly Parton, Macklemore, and President Barack Obama. But it IS an album, too! In fact, according to Grohl, it’s the Foos’ “most ambitious album,” although I expect it might be more accurate to call it the band’s most ambitious project: Based on the music we’ve thus far heard — a decontextualized section of “Outside” and now, lead single “Something From Nothing” — it doesn’t exactly sound like Grohl and Co. are trying to deliver their Pet Sounds or OK Computer; it sounds like … the Foo Fighters. As it should! (I’m trying to decide which Foo Fighters album might actually be their “most ambitious”: I think it’s gotta be either their 1995 self-titled debut or its follow-up, 1997’s The Colour And The Shape, both of which seem to me tremendously ambitious relative to what preceded them. What do you guys think?) “Something From Nothing” was recorded at Steve Albini’s Electric Audio in Chicago, with Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen serving as Chi-City’s guest of honor. The first episode of Sonic Highways (“Chicago,” naturally) will air tomorrow night at 11 PM, to coincide with the release of the single, but you can listen to that single right now.
Sonic Highways tracklist:
01. “Something From Nothing”
02. “The Feast and the Famine”
04. “What Did I Do? / God As My Witness”
06. “In the Clear”
08. “I Am A River”
Sonic Highways, the album, comes out out 11/10 on Roswell/RCA.