In stressful times, there’s something hugely reassuring about seeing the old new-wave heroes of the ’80s coming back with really good songs. Last week, for instance, the reunited Psychedelic Furs came out with the absolute banger “You’ll Be Mine.” And today, Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders — who aren’t reunited because they never broke up — have returned, announcing a new album and unveiling a pretty great new single of their own.
This spring, the Pretenders will follow up 2016’s Dan Auerbach-produced Alone with Hate For Sale, the band’s eleventh studio album. The band recorded the album with Stephen Street, the British producer best-known for working with the Smiths, the Cranberries, and Blur. It’s the first Pretenders album that Chrissie Hynde has recorded with the group’s longtime touring lineup, which includes founding drummer Martin Chambers. (The other two original Pretenders, James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, both died of drug overdoses in the early ’80s.) Hynde wrote every song on the new LP with former Ray Davies/Pogues guitarist James Walbourne, who has been in the band since 2008 and who wasn’t yet born when the Pretenders were first formed.
First single “The Buzz” is the kind of world-weary shimmer that the Pretenders have always been great at. Hynde’s craggy, seen-it-all vocals haven’t really changed in the past four decades, and neither has her sharp, intuitive songcraft. And even if James Walbourne was a baby when the Pretenders were at their peak, the guy knows how a Pretenders song should sound. Below, listen to “The Buzz” and check out the new album’s tracklist.
01 “Hate For Sale”
02 “The Buzz”
03 “Lightning Man”
04 “Turf Accountant Daddy”
05 “You Can’t Hurt a Fool”
06 “I Didn’t Know When To Stop”
07 “Maybe Love Is In NYC”
08 “Junkie Walk”
09 “Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely”
10 “Crying In Public”
Hate For Sale is out 5/1 on BMG. The Pretenders were supposed to spent the summer touring North America, but god only knows how much of that is going to happen now.