Watch Stephen Malkmus’ play alone in a Brooklyn church

The gentle, pared-down set sees the indie rock great belt out acoustic ballads by his two bands, the Jicks and Pavement.

Pavement fans can start thanking Pitchfork now. The indie music bible recently enlisted the one-and-only Stephen Malkmus to play an intimate, stripped-down show at Saint John’s Episcopal Rectory in Brooklyn.

Armed with an acoustic guitar, a microphone and a laptop, the frontman of the Jinks and Pavement cruised into a set list of six tunes from both acts. A bulk of the material Malkmus played is from the Jicks’ forthcoming record, Sparkle Hard, but he also launched into an acoustic version of “Trigger Cut,” off Pavement’s debut record.

“Solid Silk,” a song from Sparkle Hard, is a hushed, low-key affair that sees Malkmus at his soul-searching best. The tracks that come after follow the same mold, but as a quirk, the musician found time to open most of the songs with a bizarre, electronic sequence of skittering beats, vocal warbling and rumbling bass.

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Sparkle Hard is due to drop on May 18. “It’s refining what we’re doing. I was trying to keep it direct, for the most part,” said Malkmus. “I’ve been ‘zigzag-y’ and I like that, but I wanted to keep it tight, even if there are some long songs.”

Watch the 23-minute-long video, directed by Jon Leone, here:

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