Stream Laura Jane Grace’s Surprise Album Stay Alive
Here’s a great thing to wake up to: A bracing, fiery new surprise album from Against Me! leader Laura Jane Grace. Grace has just come out with her new solo LP Stay Alive, which she recorded during quarantine. Grace, who lives in Chicago, made the album at Electrical Audio Studios, with Steve Albini engineering. In some ways, it’s a throwback to the very earliest days of Against Me!, when the project was just Laura Jane Grace and a guitar, singing anarchist folk-punk anthems. In other ways ways, the new album is a whole new thing.
In a statement released along with the album, Grace says that she was planning on making a new album with Against Me! this year. Against Me! were on tour when the pandemic hit, and the band’s members are spread across the country. (So are the members of Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, her other band.) So Grace scrapped the songs she’d been writing for Against Me!, and she booked four days at Electrical Audio to record the acoustic songs she’d written alone.
In that statement, Grace explains why she decided to release those songs as a proper album:
By putting the songs out, that puts the label in work, that puts a photographer in work, that puts a graphic designer in work, that puts a merch company in work, that keeps it alive. You hear on the news every day about people losing their jobs and everything collapsing, and I want to fight against that. The only way I can think to fight against that is to work…
I just want to put this out because it makes me feel alive and it’s giving me something better than sitting here losing my mind while the world falls apart. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about what you do. Just stay alive.
The new album comes four years after Shape Shift With Me, the last Against Me! album, and two years after Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers’ Bought To Rot. On first listen, the songs on Stay Alive — mostly acoustic, though not entirely — are powerful and anthemic and life-affirming. Stream the LP below.
Stay Alive is out now on Polyvinyl, and a bunch of different bundles are available. Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers recently covered the hell out of the Mountain Goats’ “This Year” on our own Save Stereogum: An ’00s Covers Comp.