On February 25, Merge records will release the remastered reissue of Superchunk’s out-of-print 1997 album Indoor Living. The second in their 2014 series of reissues in celebration of their 25th anniversary, Indoor Living will be released on CD and LP with new liner notes by Laura Ballance and producer/engineer John Plymale. The LP will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl, and both CD and LP will include a download of Clambakes Vol 8: We’d Like to Thank the Homecoming Committee – Live at Duke 1997.
Ana Marie Cox, who wrote the original SPIN Magazine review of the album, revisited the record for its reissue:
Indoor Living is about domestication: The taming and training of human beings to inhabit each others’ lives, during which a certain amount of blood is spilled. But anyone can write a break-up record, anyone can color in a broken heart all black. It takes a more sophisticated eye to find the light and perfect moments that happen even when we wish they didn’t, and Indoor Living is a scrapbook of those moments. A request for mercy comes across like an in-joke (“We both know that I’ve got bad knees”) in “Watery Hands.” “European Medicine” is a lively travelog that’s by turns amusingly fatalistic (“All our wine just froze, so much for your sunny coast”) and achingly needy (“Hold my hand steady while I write / Look over my shoulder all night”). Even “The Popular Music,” the record’s angriest slice of heartache, has a protagonist that can’t quite pull off a fully punk rock tantrum: “I’m smashing not washing the china you left me to use,” but “making mosaics of scenes from the parts of my life that you left me to lose.”
Angst is easy, hope is hard. Thinking you’re going to die from a broken heart is easy, knowing you won’t is hard. Adulthood is about forsaking the black and white resolutions of youth for a more complicated, and resonant, resilience: From “Burn Last Sunday,” one of the saddest lines in indie rock: “The branches you thought you’d break / Well, they just bend.” In music and with people, maturity happens when the sharp edges and jangly rhythms of angst and outrage give over to fuller conversations. Indoor Living shows that you don’t have to lose a single joule of energy in becoming a little more self-reflective. You just have to be willing to take it all in.
Superchunk on tour:
Apr 10 Saxapahaw, NC — Haw River Ballroom
Apr 11 Nashville, TN — Mercy Lounge
Apr 13 & 20 Indio, CA — Coachella Music Festival
May 28-31 — Primavera Sound