Pearl Jam's cosmically charged rock journey continues with new album 'Dark Matter' — Listen to the 1st single

Legendary rockers Pearl Jam are drawing inspiration from beyond our planet for a second consecutive album. 

The first single, “Dark Matter,” released today (Feb. 13), is a hard rocker that draws comparisons between the mysterious stuff that neither emits nor absorbs light despite making up more than 80% of the material universe and the negative, or “dark” emotions induced by demagogues that walk the Earth. 

Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder’s leanings into the space realm have been plentiful as of late. In the last few years, he has collaborated with NASA on a music video inspired by the Artemis program and has even called the international Space Station

The band’s previous record, “Gigaton,” released in 2020, has a song called “Quick Escape,” which features an imaginative trip to Mars, according to Vedder’s lyrics: “And here we are, the Red Planet/ Craters across the skyline.”

Some of the lyrics of “Dark Matter” — “Steal the light from your eyes/ Drain the blood from our hearts” and “Renounce the demagogues/ King Diamond to discard,” for example — give the impression, to this listener at least, that Vedder is metaphorically referring to the effects of the heated political climate in the United States. 

Pearl Jam are no strangers to political controversy. For example, Vedder shared his thoughts on President George W. Bush in the song “Bu$hleaguer,” from the band’s 2002 album “Riot Act.” 

“Dark Matter” touches upon other contentious subjects as well, as shown by lyrics like “Arrested the Press” and “Your word against the law.” Pearl Jam continues to unabashedly speak their mind through their music, a staple of the grunge rock pioneers. 

The band also announced a world tour in support of “Dark Matter,” set to begin in May 2024, and unveiled the full track list for the new album that will be released on April 19. 

1. Scared of Fear
2. React Respond
3. Wreckage
4. Dark Matter
5. Won’t Tell
6. Upper Hand
7. Waiting for Stevie
8. Running
9. Something Special
10. Got to Give
11. Setting Sun


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