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NPR Arts & Life

Hear Stephin Merritt, Katie Crutchfield Sing On Superchunk's 'Erasure'

Superchunk's <em>What A Time To Be Alive</em> comes out Feb. 16.
Superchunk's <em>What A Time To Be Alive</em> comes out Feb. 16.

If you are Superchunk, then you can ask people like Stephin Merritt and Katie Crutchfield to appear on your new record. (It doesn't hurt that the band's Laura Balance and Mac MacCaughan happen to run Merge Records, which puts out music by The Magnetic Fields and Waxahatchee, but that's neither or there.) When you've got nearly 30 years of bombastic power-punk behind you, with righteous and catchy hooks pinned to your heart like one-inch buttons, people tend to sing along.

Those two guests vocalists alternate backing the chorus of "Erasure," from What A Time To Be Alive.Even as her voice has been finessed towards tenderness over the years, bopping punk-pop isn't that far from Crutchfield's wheelhouse. So it's a real bonus to hear Merritt's distinct baritone in this context, as if he's always rushed the mic before a ripping guitar solo.

What A Time To Be Alive comes out Feb. 16 via Merge Records .

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