Published Aug 30, 2016Iconic indie songwriter Dave Pajo nearly died last year in a suicide attempt, but he survived to reflect on the situation with a new album under his old guise of Papa M. Highway Songs is his first album under the moniker in 15 years, and it arrives November 11 via Drag City.
A press release confirms the arrival of the LP, which is the first official release from Papa M since a series of sequentially titled series of EPs released between 2003 and 2004, but acts as the proper follow-up to 2001's Whatever Mortal. It also follows Pajo's last solo album, Scream with Me, a collection of Misfits covers released in 2009.
The new album was apparently plotted out while Pajo was reflecting on his "time spent hooked up to machines" while in the hospital. Drag City further describes the eight-song release as being delivered by "a good person with bad thoughts," the collection playing out as "a story told in fragments picked up off the bathroom floor."
As previously reported, Pajo was hospitalized in February 2015 after a suicide attempt. A since deleted post on his blog titled "I Surrender My Broken Heart" was addressed to his wife and discussed an affair she had apparently been having. A follow-up note from the musician had him imploring others to talk about their depression and thoughts of suicide.
He wrote, "We don't talk about it amongst friends — we think it's too morbid. But I've known more people who have died from suicide than any other illness. In my world, it's a bigger problem than cancer. Yet it's never talked about."
Below, you can sample instrumental album preview "Walking on Coronado," a joyful-sounding piece built around elements of acoustic guitar and drum machine. There, you'll also find Highway Songs' tracklisting.
Pajo is a veteran musician who has also performed in Slint, Zwan and Interpol. He's also delivered solo work as Aerial M and Pajo.
2. The Love Particle
3. Adore, A Jar
6. Walking on Coronado
7. Green Holler
9. Little Girl