Jayhawks Return With Piano-Pop Gem 'This Forgotten Town'

The Jayhawks are out Tuesday with “This Forgotten Town,” the second track off the band’s forthcoming album XOXO. They previously dropped the Elliott Smith-esque tune “Living in a Bubble.”

The mid-tempo jangly roots-pop gem opens the band’s first album of new material since 2016’s Paging Mr. Proust. The song features vocals from lead singer Gary Louris and drummer Tim O’Reagan.

“Introducing different voices throughout the song added a new dimension to telling the story,” says the band’s bassist Marc Pearlman, who co-wrote the song with Louris. “We approached it much like we did the whole record — more collaboration in the writing and more sharing of lead vocals than in the past.” 

Marc brought the chord progression for this song, and then I started singing a melody on top of it,” Louris adds. “We wrote the lyrics together.”

The band’s 11th studio album marks the first time the group has fully distributed its songwriting duties, with all four band members (Louris, Pearlman, O’Reagan and Karen Grotberg) writing their own songs and singing lead vocals. The album follows the group’s latest release Back Roads and Abandoned Motels, a collection of previously released material that Louris wrote for other artists like the Dixie Chicks and Jakob Dylan.

XOXO will be released on July 10th.

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