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MJ Lenderman stays on a roll with promising lead single, ‘She’s Leaving You’

MJ Lenderman; Facebook

Every Monday, 88Nine music director Erin Wolf shares a sonic gem she found using her nearly 20 years of new-music exploration experience. You can hear all her discoveries at 2 p.m. every Sunday on What’s All This: Adventures in New Music

North Carolina multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Mark Jacob (aka MJ) Lenderman just dropped a new single, “She’s Leaving You,” ahead of his newest project. And although the sentiment of the song title seems like it’s ripe for a good ol’ wallow, Lenderman shows he can deal with a “to heck with it” chorus of: “It falls apart / We all got work to do.”

Spending the last bit playing in the band Wednesday and guesting with Waxahatchee, Lenderman is ready to step into his own version of a spotlight created by distorted guitars, drawled, deadpan vocals and emotionally keen wit.

On this first-glance promise of a great album, Lenderman carries on the tradition of Son Volt and Jason Molina with a little Neil Young and Silver Jews flair kicked in. It all sounds fresh (though familiar) in the hands of a 25-year-old like Lenderman. Keeping it in the family, he enlists Wednesday bandmate Karly Hartzmann to lend her voice to “She’s Leaving You,” which feels like a great way to soothe the absence of waiting for the next Wednesday record, too.

Co-produced with Alex Farrar but played almost entirely by Lenderman, Manning Fireworks will be his first album for Anti- and fourth overall when it comes out Sept. 6. Listen to the first single, “She’s Leaving You,” and the rest of the songs featured on this episode using the player at the top of the page or the show’s Spotify playlist. Then be sure to check out a fresh batch of tunes on What’s All This: Adventures in New Music at 2 p.m. Sundays on 88Nine.

Episode playlist

  • Clairo, “Nomad”
  • Naima Bock, “Kaley”
  • Wilco, “Annihilation”
  • Peel Dream Magazine, “Lie In the Gutter”
  • Dummy, “Nullspace”
  • Lutalo, “Ocean Swallows Him Whole”
  • HOMESHAKE, “Believe”
  • James Blake, Lil Yachty, “Midnight”
  • King Isis, “Dissonance”
  • Kim Gordon, “ECRP”
88Nine Music Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee