Everyone’s favorite alternative rock band is back with a fresh look and a new tour. This will be their 8th album release, and it is hard to believe that over a decade has passed since Satellite took the world by storm. For the release of Look Alive, Guster have created a deluxe LP that looks perfect for the latest wave of vinyl-spinning enthusiasts.

Although this is their biggest set of tour dates in a number of years, Guster has always kept in touch with fans by writing weekly updates to their Road Journal, and generally playing a lot of shows in the midwest closer to their home in Boston. Fans on the west coast will be happy to see a number of shows in San Francisco, as well as dates in Oregon, Washington, and as far north as Vancouver.

Hard Times is the lead single from Look Alive, and this is the acoustic version. It’s a stripped-down production, with some hints of ambient flourish, and the slightest bit of vocal harmony. The result is a stunning and resolute commentary on the present-day conflict between humanity and corporate sadism.

The tone here is perfect for the moment: before anything else can happen, it’s important to understand these ‘sinister’ systems, the false binaries that divide us by design. Put on display like this, and accompanied by the simple folk guitar, it feels easy enough to admit the truth of it.

“We send our sisters to the sacrifice
With cruel conviction
Sinister systems keep us satisfied”— Guster

The album goes live on January 19.

Guster is a folk-flavored indie-rock band from Boston. This song is featured on our Roots Collection playlist.