In this Internet Age we find ourselves in, discovering new bands and songwriters you care about can be tough, and that’s why it feels so good to stumble upon a new favorite artist by chance. I happened upon a track from Asheville-based guitarist MJ Lenderman, and have been listening through his catalog ever since.
You may recognize his guitar playing from current indie heroes Wednesday, whose newest album Rat Saw God has been making waves since its release back in April. Despite being a highlight of Wednesday, Lenderman’s solo material is unmistakable – from ballads with a pedal steel twang, to faster jams that could fit on a Dinosaur Jr. album, Lenderman always leaves you guessing on what he’ll do next.
MJ Lenderman just signed to LA label ANTI- Records, releasing two tracks – “Rudolph” is a mid-tempo cut driven by a (tasteful) cowbell and a gnarly guitar tone. He also re-recorded “Knockin’”, a niche cultural reference to pro golfer John Daly singing Bob Dylan’s classic “Knockin on Heaven’s Door”.
Lenderman recently played at Pitchfork Music Festival, showcasing both new songs, as well as cuts from his early home-recorded releases. He sounded slightly twangier on stage than on his records, aided by a pedal steel player and a guest appearance from Spencer Tweedy on drums.
Tune into Noteworthy’s Freeform channel to hear some cuts from Lenderman, his band Wednesday, and other new artists.