Describing the music of Howe Gelb as “alt-country” doesn’t do justice to the immense, genre-spanning catalogue that he’s amassed over his band Giant Sand’s 30 years in existence. True, Gelb has put out several great records within the roots-rock and folk idioms, working with artists from Neko Case and Juliana Hatfield to PJ Harvey and Steve Wynn. But he’s also released jazz, gospel, and Spanish guitar albums, proving himself to be as prolific as he is undefinable. And he’s still at it, with a new record entitled Heartbreak Pass out this week. Lead single “Transponder” features vocals from Granddaddy’s Jason Lytle and beautifully combines Gelb’s gruff, desert-rock sensibilities with Granddaddy’s earnest, electronic-infused approach to alt-rock. The video for the track, directed by Lucy Dyson, is an animated Technicolor collage of old-school magazine cutouts that brings the song’s existential crisis to life in a clever way. Watch the video below.
Heartbreak Pass is out now on New West Records. Buy it here.