Laura Jane Grace - Hole In My Head


Pitchfork: Album Review (7.3)

On ‘Hole in My Head,’ Laura Jane Grace Gives It Her All – Exclaim! (7/10)

Laura Jane Grace, one of the most impactful punk rock singer/songwriters of the past 25 years, returns with a solo album that feels raw, freeing, and spontaneous… It’s an album that Laura could’ve only written now, but it also echoes Against Me!’s early folk punk days – BROOKLYN VEGAN

The fiercest punk singer of our time… Avoiding hard truths has never been much of an option for Grace, who has been making fearless politically-tinged punk-rock for over 20 years… The tone on ‘Hole In My Head’ is at once raw and reflective, whether its on self- searching folk tunes like ‘Dysphoria Hoodie’ or the Fifties-tinged rock & roll of ‘I’m Not A Cop’ – ROLLING STONE

There’s something inherently welcoming in the short, sharp, and lyrically open songs, as Laura looks both inwards and outwards at her identity, her chosen music, and her vices. Each track unfolds with an ease only reserved for somebody with so much skin in the game. –DIY

Grace’s voice, as always, is untouchable — whether she whispers, croons or shouts, she’s singular in her ability to gauge the precise pressure that her music needs. –EXCLAIM!

For all the confidence heard in a raw, back-to-basics sound, lyrically it is awash with unanswered questions and naked insecurity … But it is a record coloured with hope for the possibilities of the future, too. –KERRANG

the album digs deep and opens wide, with lyrics exposing anxiety and vulnerability with a kind of matter-of-fact confidence that is consistently impressive and occasionally unsettling … Grace’s greatest achievement on Hole In My Head is to impart the notion that her ability to write with such unerring, toe-curling honesty is dependent upon her willingness to understand the inner machinations of her mind down to every last synaptic firing. –TREBLE ZINE

By turns raucous and introspective, the album offers a stirring collection of stories … She’s one of the most prolific, empathetic, and funniest musicians on the planet – Q MAGAZINE

‘Hole in My Head’ is conversational and intimate in all the best ways, cruising through country, rockabilly, folk, and acoustic punk…She evokes a spirit mighty enough to shake the rafters at a basement show or a stadium. – CHICAGO READER

“The 50 Greatest Rock Lead Singers Of All Time” — Billboard

“28 Albums We’re Looking Forward To In 2024” — Rolling Stone

“2024 Preview: The Year’s Most Anticipated Albums” — NPR Music

“Most Anticipated Albums of 2024” — Stereogum

Polyvinyl Record Co. and Laura Jane Grace are pleased to present “Birds Talk Too,” the latest single to be lifted from the Friday, February 16, 2024 release of Grace’s highly anticipated new album, Hole In My Head​“10 years ago I started getting tattooed by a Japanese tattoo artist named Gakkin,” Grace says. “I traveled all around the world getting the work done literally starting with my feet and ending with getting my head tattooed in Amsterdam in July of 2022. At the end of our session, Gakkin gifted me a hand-painted Gretsch guitar, covered in beautiful, intricate, swirling design. I took the guitar back to my hotel room and immediately wrote ‘Birds Talk Too’. The lyrical references are all Amsterdam: Schipol is the airport, Rookies is my favourite cannabis cafe and Champagne Haze is my favourite strain.” 

Recorded at Native Sound in St. Louis, MO with David Beeman and mixed by Matt Allison (The Lawrence Arms, Rise Against), Hole In My Head is a showcase that features warm, ‘50s rock-influenced guitar riffs, saved-for-later lyrics, love letters to new surroundings, and thoughtful reflections on a punk life lived. Grace’s commanding vocals are backed predominately by her performances on guitar and drums, and bolstered by Drive-By Truckers bassist Matt Patton, whose presence rounds out a full-band sound on over half the album.

A musical force since Against Me!‘s debut in the late-’90s and one of Billboard Magazine’s “50 Greatest Rock Lead Singers Of All Time,” punk veteran Laura Jane Grace has never shied away from themes of political commentary, environmentalism, social critique and candid self-exploration. On the forthcoming Hole In My Head, she continues to showcase her songwriting genius across the 11 tracks presented here, issuing an album that captures the nuances of humanity and experience in a strangely optimistic manner. The lightness of its influence, and the journalistic recollection of experience set against a battered and warm folk-punk delivery from beginning to end, makes Hole In My Head a refreshing comfort and a welcome embrace of life.

From the scrappy acoustic anthem “Dysphoria Hoodie,” the Jonathan Richman-inspired “I’m Not A Cop” and jangle of “Punk Rock in Basements,” a Dion-inspired song where she looks back on the formative underground spaces of her youth, Hole In My Head also takes time to reflect on Grace’s ongoing travels and adopted homes, themes that have always been at the heart of her songwriting. Written in Amsterdam on a black hollow-body Gretsch guitar that was hand-painted by her friend Gakkin, “Birds Talk Too” is a song that commemorates Grace’s recent experience of having her head shaved and tattooed by the famed Japanese artist.

Elsewhere, the easygoing “Tacos and Toast” settles into the ease of living in her now part-time home of St. Louis. Assuming ownership of what was once Jajouka, a storied warehouse studio that previously belonged to Jay Farrar of Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo, Grace views St. Louis as a city where her ability to make music in a new place has been fully renewed. “St. Louis really opened its arms to me and I just have such a great time when I’m there. It’s a really special city,” she says. “To me, it feels like the way every city in America felt when I first started touring in the late-‘90s, and this crazy mix of fun and adventure, but danger and possibility.” Vibrant and direct as ever, Hole In My Head is an exciting hallmark in Grace’s colorful and ever-changing journey.

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Against Me!, The Mountain Goats, PJ Harvey, Lydia Loveless, Bully, Julien Baker
Explicit Tracks
#2, 3, 6, 7, 9 (clean edits on DISCO)