My Morning Jacket

Over the last 12 years, My Morning Jacket have undergone the kind of perfect, organic growth that you wish every band would go through. Starting as a ragtag bunch of longhairs from Louisville, Kentucky, that loved Skynyrd and Neil Young alike ("Southern Man" be damned), the band proved early on that they could balance warm folk balladry in front of a wall of Marshall stacks, with singer Jim James's heavenly voice suited perfectly to either speed. While the band could easily have stayed in that comfortable territory and made a decent run of it, they've constantly pushed themselves — on 2005's Z and 2008's Evil Urges — into exciting, beautiful and just plain weird sonic lands. Their newest LP, May's Circuital, is a playful, soulful album full of anthemic rockers and torchy slow burners that finds James stepping out from behind his trademark wall of reverb, letting the guitars and keyboards provide the colorful, swelling atmospherics that make seeing My Morning Jacket a massive, ethereal experience.


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