David Pajo announced Highway Songs — the first new album from his solo project Papa M in over a decade — back in August. The former Slint guitarist also shared the first track “Walking On Coronado” and the serene instrumental might have convinced listeners that this was going to be a far more pastoral outing.
All of that goes out the window on the second single. Papa M’s latest “Bloom” is a mash of chugging metal guitars in stuttering post-rock time that will make any Spiderland lover nod along. Listen above.
Highway Songs is the first we’ve heard from Papa M since the 2004 compilation Hole of Burning Arms and his first project of any kind since a failed suicide attempt in 2015. After that incident, Pajo said he was slowly feeling the impulse to write music return to him. “The urge to write is slowly coming back, but only in terms of ideas in my head,” he said at the time. “I know all this intense emotion will fuel my music in the future, but I’m not rushing anything.”
The press release notes that the new album was composed “between the mental ward and the intensive care unit”, making this a collection of songs that was written at the true low point of a man’s life. Highway Songs drops November 11th on Drag City.