In the Moment That You're Born is the first new music from Brad — Stone Gossard (Green River, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam), Regan Hagar (Malfunkshun), Shawn Smith, and Keith Lowe — in over a decade, and is released 30 years after their 1993 debut album Shame.
The album features 10 never released songs, and all the lyrics were solely written by vocalist Shawn Smith before his passing in 2019, with the exception made for "Stars N' You," a song written by late Seattle musician Andrew Wood (Malfunkshun, Mother Love Bone) and recorded by Malfunkshun for C/Z Records' 1986 Deep Six compilation which represents the early inception of the Seattle grunge scene.
"For a lot of us, Deep Six was the first time we heard Malkfunkshun recorded," Gossard told SPIN. "We'd all seen the power of Andrew in the local clubs, but it was amazing to hear how good he and the band really were in the studio. 'Stars N' You' is Brad's way of acknowledging our love of Andrew and the profound impact he had in our lives."
Barrett Jones plays piano on "Meadow in Autumn," while Hans Teuber plays horns and keys on various other tracks. The album was self-produced by Brad, and recorded and mixed by Floyd Reitsma at Studio Litho in Seattle (except for "In The Moment That You're Born," which was mixed by Josh Evans). The artwork was crafted by Regan Hagar with the addition of pictures taken by Lance Mercer.
"Notes about the past" from Stone Gossard:
Shawn's lyric from years ago about it never fails. You always return to the scene of the crime. Well, Brad has always been good at looking back and returning as well. Cherishing those times in the past, where we allowed ourselves to experience the magic of creation together, with all the sense of adventure, fear and fearlessness, insecurity and bravado. We always loved the old rough mix that we spent no time on vs. our labored-over "pro mix." Our most beautiful songs were the ones we shared with each other the most, and inspirations came in an instant. It's easy to look back and see this wisdom in action. It's harder to recognize it in the moment. In the moment that you're born. The name of our new record. The name of our first single.
Shawn Smith at his best, once again singing from a place of pure present, like a young god looking around the universe in awe and in pain, taking in the unimaginable totality.
We had texted a lot the week before Shawn's passing: "Let's do this. Let's finish this record we started five years before." Lots of reasons for the pause in finishing. Some good. Others not. Our texting that week described how we were gonna take all our lessons from lost days about how we were better together, each part perfectly imperfect, and finally get back to the magic of music and our unique sound.
Regan, Keith and I finished these tracks without our spiritual leader and our singer. We had a special experience, hearing these songs fresh after all that time tweaking, adding, discovering hidden gems. All the while thinking of what would Shawn like? How would he make this great? How would he make us laugh, or totally change the direction of a song in an amazing way?
Anyway, it's a lot of water under a lot of bridges. We love this band, Brad, and our record we made. It's our last, but not least.
The title track is one of the heavier Brad songs ever, with Smith singing in a lower register than usual atop Gossard and Keith Lowe's swirling guitar attack. Hagar says the song comes from a weekend recording session about five years ago and that Smith's vocal offers almost a gospel vibe. Sonically, it harkens back to Smith and Hagar's other project Satchel, which was often active in parallel with Brad in the '90s.
- White Vinyl
- Artwork by Regan Hagar
- Photos by Lance Mercer
- Printed Insert
- Made in Canada
- In the Moment That You're Born
- Pieces Of Sky In My Hand
- Straight to the Hoop
- Stars n You
- Meadow in Autumn
- Take Me Back Home
- Without Guns
- Hey Now What's the Problem?
- I'm Diggin U
- Simple Subtraction