Hear Stephin Merritt, Katie Crutchfield Sing On Superchunk's 'Erasure' : All Songs Considered When you've got nearly 30 years of bombastic power-punk behind you, it's fairly easy to convince people to join you in a sing-along.
NPR logo Hear Stephin Merritt, Katie Crutchfield Sing On Superchunk's 'Erasure'

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

Superchunk's What A Time To Be Alive comes out Feb. 16. Lisa Gottwals/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Lisa Gottwals/Courtesy of the artist

Superchunk's What A Time To Be Alive comes out Feb. 16.

Lisa Gottwals/Courtesy of the artist

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.

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