About time, “Closing Time” fellas.
Nineteen years since their last album and several years into dropping hints of new material, Semisonic finally issued a new song Friday along with news of a five-song EP coming out Sept. 18.
Titled “You’re Not Alone” — also the name of the EP — the debut single at once sounds timeless with its Beatles-y power-pop hooks, but frontman Dan Wilson’s all-you-need-is-love lyricism actually sounds tailor-made for 2020.
In a news release to announce the EP, Wilson said he wrote “You’re Not Alone” two years ago but is “really happy that it’s coming out now.”
“Coincidentally, the song is coming out when both a global pandemic and racial justice protests are compelling us to reimagine our relationships to each other and the communities we live in,” he said.
“Just as I had hoped when I first wrote it, I hope the song will communicate a sense of connection and comfort, an awareness that we’re not alone.”
The other four songs on the EP include “Basement Tapes” and “In Another Life,” which the trio played live for Twin Cities fans along with “You’re Not Alone” at last summer’s Basilica Block Party.
In an interview last summer with his old hometown newspaper at his new home in Los Angeles — where the EP was recorded — Wilson revealed that it was actually a songwriting session with ex-Oasis singer Liam Gallagher that finally set Semisonic on the path to make new music together again.
“I totally accidentally wrote some Semisonic songs instead,” he recalled. “Something about it just put me in the right mood. It was like, ‘Oh yeah, now I remember how to do this.’ ”
Wilson, bassist John Munson and drummer Jacob Slichter have long contended the band never broke up. They kept up live appearances sporadically in the years (decades) since they went on semi-hiatus in 2001 after touring hard for “All About Chemistry,” the follow-up album to 1998’s “Feeling Strangely Fine” and its hit “Closing Time,” which topped Billboard’s modern-rock chart and earned a Grammy nomination for the year’s best rock song.
Munson’s comments in the news release sent Friday hinted that there are plenty more feel-good vibes on the new EP that could serve fans well in 2020.
“I’ve always believed that a Semisonic song is one that gives you hope, one that sends you out into the night happy, one that leaves you feeling more connected to whatever it is that makes you human,” the bassist said, “and that’s something we need now more than ever.”
Here’s the full tracklist for the new EP, to be released via Pleasuresonic Recordings/Megaforce Records:
1. “You’re Not Alone”
2. “All It Would Take”
3. “Basement Tapes”
4. “Don’t Make Up Your Mind”