Built To Spill – “Understood”

Alex Graham

Built To Spill – “Understood”

Alex Graham

Later this year, the real BTS, the transcendent Idaho indie rock institution Built To Spill, will release When The Wind Forgets Your Name, their first album for new label Sub Pop. Frontman Doug Martsch produced the record, and the LP features him playing with Lê Almeida and João Casaes, two members of the Brazilian band Oruã. (When BTS tour later this year, Oruã will open, but Martsch will play with new band members Melanie Radford and Teresa Esguerra.)

When Built To Spill announced the new album last month, they shared the early single “Gonna Lose.” Today, they’ve followed that one with the new song “Understood.” The band’s lineup may keep changing, but the track sounds like vintage Built To Spill, with Martsch’ delivering big hooks in his high-lonesome howl and getting plenty of space for his fuzzed-out guitar heroics.

According to a press release, “Understood” is inspired by the 1974 moment when the daredevil Evel Knievel tried and failed to jump his rocket-powered motorcycle over the mile-wide expanse of Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho. Knievel’s parachute malfunctioned, and it took him safely down to the bank of the river below. Martsch, a native of Twin Falls, was four years old when all of it went down. Martsch’s “Understood” lyrics only make oblique reverence to that jump, using it for psychedelic imagery: “It’s been a long time since we took a trip to the bottom of a canyon in a rocketship.” The song rocks, and you can hear it below.

When The Wind Forgets Your Name is out 9/9 on Sub Pop.

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