In the second week of May, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings drove from Los Angeles to Nashvillle. The journey took 31 hours, and Welch filmed a small portion of it on her iPhone. The clip is framed by an open car window, and outside you can see the flooded Mississippi stretching away from the edge of the road to the horizon: a new inland sea for the beleaguered American South.
As has probably been pointed out ad nauseam, Jeff Tweedy seems to take a constant pleasure in wrongfooting Wilco fans. So it is with the start of “The Whole Love”, the band’s eighth studio album. “Art Of Almost” begins with a burst of staticky guitar and pulses along, mixing orchestral stabs, a plausibly funky bassline, a motorik core akin to “Spiders” and “Bull Black Nova”, and a distracted melody from Tweedy.