The 2002 Wilco documentary, I am Trying to Break Your Heart, made it clear that there was nothing amicable about Jay Bennett's split from Tweedy and Co. Since going solo, Bennett has recorded five LPs, including Whatever Happened I Apologize, which was posted for free yesterday on the Rock Proper website. He also has another album in the works entitled Kicking at the Perfumed Air, which should be out in the near future. Here's what he had to say via MySpace:
"As anyone keeping a watchful eye on me has noticed, October came and went without the release of Kicking at the Perfumed Air. The reason for this: In the final stages of completing "Kicking at the Perfumed Air" at Pieholden Suite Sound, I was simultaneously working on a very personal and concise 10-song album called Whatever Happened I Apologize. After debating back and forth, I have decided to release 'Apologize' first. I am somewhat at a loss for words as to explain why I arrived at this decision, save to say it's just one of those lonely and private choices one sometimes has to make--in other words, it just felt more like the right album for the time.
It is stark, stripped down, and acoustic based--more so than any other record I have made. I really wanted to capture the simpler and more emotional nature of the songwriting, and I knew that the only way I could do this was to put it together quickly, with no second-guessing, and no heavy deliberating about minor details. Consequently I would have to learn to embrace the resultant imperfections--and I have. All of the vocals are done live to my own acoustic guitar accompaniment, so it has some "warts," but, in my effort to not forsake integrity for technical perfection, the album ended up feeling more honest, immediate, naked, and cohesive to me. I am very proud of presenting myself without my typical voluminous bells and whistles. I am left wondering why I haven't done this more often in the past."
Download the album in its entirety below.
ZIP: Jay Bennett, Whatever Happened I Apologize