Having not released a studio album since 2013’s Lightning Bolt, Pearl Jam have foreshadowed their impending new release Gigatron with the album’s first single, Dance of the Clairvoyants. A decided departure from the well-worn grunge rock road that they’ve been travelling for some 30 years, this single well and truly falls into the “I definitely wasn’t expecting that” basket, not that that’s a bad thing.
Kicking off with a bass riff that, it must be said, sounds quite familiar, it’s when the synth joins in that one is immediately drawn into making comparisons to Talking Heads. At least until the familiar vocals of Eddie Vedder jolt the listener back to the present.
The track’s funky, electro-dance vibe shows that, despite their many years together, Pearl Jam seem to be intent on experimenting and developing their sound and not just rehashing the formula that has stood them in such great stead for so long.
Make no mistake, with Vedder’s vocals leading the way, this is still definitely Pearl Jam, just with a different twist. While it may not be to the liking of some diehard fans, Dance of the Clairvoyants really does grow on you once you’ve gotten over the initial surprise at the band’s different direction. With Gigatron slated for release on March 27 of this year, it will be interesting to see if this track is indicative of the feel of the entire album or more of a one-off divergence from the normal Pearl Jam tried and tested sound.