In 2019, Bob Mould bucked the era's despair with his melodic, upbeat album Sunshine
Rock. Cut to spring 2020, and he has this to say: "We're really in deep shit now." That
sentiment informs his new full-length album, Blue Hearts, the raging-but-catchy yin to
Sunshine Rock's yang.
To be sure, we were in some shit in 2018, when Mould recorded Sunshine Rock. Back
then, he had a song called "American Crisis" that didn't fit the album. "That song
is the seed for what we're talking about now," Mould says from his home in San
Francisco during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Recorded at the famed Electrical Audio in Chicago with Beau Sorenson engineering
and Mould producing, Blue Hearts nods to Mould's past while remaining firmly planted
in the issues of the day. Acoustic opener "Heart on My Sleeve" catalogues the ravages
of climate change. "Next Generation" worries for who comes next. "American Crisis"
references "Evangelical ISIS" and features this dagger of a line: "Pro-life, pro-life until
you make it in someone else's wife."