There are two big stories happening in the world of Sleater-Kinney right now: The band has a new album (The Center Won’t Hold) on the way, and drummer Janet Weiss recently left the group. Losing Weiss is a major blow, especially while the band is in the middle of promoting a new release, but Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker are pressing on with a fresh single, “Can I Go On.”
The track is a departure from the group’s previously released song, “The Center Won’t Hold.” While the album’s title track is dark and experimental, “Can I Go On” is a more straightforward indie rock tune with bright undertones, despite its not-so-upbeat lyrical content. Brownstein said of the track, “In this song, a woman’s desire is used against her, so she turns it into a sinister infectiousness. The narrator finds herself on the brink of self-annihilation, grappling with the paradox of an internal darkness at odds with the pressure to outwardly perform modes of joy, relatability, and likability.”
Brownstein also previously addressed Weiss leaving the group, writing on Instagram, “What am I supposed to say? She left. We asked her to stay. We tried. It’s hard and sad. […] Her playing on this record is amazing and she’s raved about this album to us and to Annie. But we have to keep looking to the future. Things change, even when those changes are hard and unexpected. Four amazing women worked on this record and we are going to honor that work. […] We’re going to keep going because we believe in ourselves and it’s a privilege to get to play music for people. It’s a new chapter.”
Listen to “Can I Go On” above.
The Center Won’t Hold is out 8/16 via Mom + Pop. Pre-order it here.