Superchunk

Courtesy Merge Records

As a kid, Laura Ballance was most comfortable slipping into the background. Her introverted nature gave her plenty of space to think and create on her own. As a teenager, she found punk through a music video of Adam and the Ants, and the “otherness” they expressed spoke directly to her.

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery station, WUNC Music.

Nathaniel Rateliff “Tearing at the Seams"

An image of the band Superchunk
Lissa Gotwals

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery station, WUNC Music.

This time we take a look at 'What A Time To Be Alive,' the title track from Superchunk's latest album.

The song, and the album of the same name, is a call to action. According to singer Mac McCaughan it was written in reaction to the current political climate.

Listen to the episode here:

A photo of the band Superchunk.
Lissa Gotwals / Merge Records

Decades after forming, Chapel Hill band Superchunk is sounding as engaged and vital as ever.  The new recording is called What A Time To Be Alive and features some vocal assistance from Stephin Merritt from Magnetic Fields, Katie Crutchfield from Waxahatchee and Skylar Gudasz.  But aside from that, the tempos and the roar of guitars are undiminished by time.

Duck Kee Studios
Eric Hodge

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music. On this special episode, we're doing things a bit differently.

Photo of Prince from "Purple Rain"
Sound Opinions / Flickr

Music can transport people to a particular time and place in a way that not many other things can. And for that reason, it has become an essential element of film.

Sometimes music is used as a tool to underscore a particular emotion or theme, and in other instances it is so distinct and memorable that it becomes a character of its own.

Merge Records Co-Founder and Frontman for the indie band Superchunk, Mac McCaughan professional photo.
Lissa Gotwals / Merge Records

 

Mac McCaughan has worn many musical faces. Twenty five years ago, he helped start the band Superchunk and the independent music label Merge Records. He has also recorded under the name Portastatic.

 

Merge Records Co-Founder and Frontman for the indie band Superchunk, Mac McCaughan professional photo.
Lissa Gotwals / Merge Records

Mac McCaughan has been creating heartfelt and catchy music in North Carolina for 25 years.

He has released more than 15 albums, both with his long-running indie rock band, Superchunk, and his semi-solo project Portastatic. 

Until now, he never released an album under his own name. On Tuesday, McCaughan releases his first official solo debut Non-Believers. The album is inspired by the early 1980’s era of music when punk rock was evolving.

Host Frank Stasio talks with McCaughan about the album and his work.