It looks as though we could be gearing up to receive new music from Pearl Jam, with the grunge icons seemingly teasing a new album with the help of augmented reality.
While it’s hard enough to comprehend the fact that 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Seattle grunge icons Pearl Jam, it’s even more difficult to come to terms with the fact it’s now been seven years since they last released a studio album.
Sharing Lightning Bolt back in 2013, the record received mixed reviews, but remains one of their most commercially-successful to date. Since then, the band have been pretty forthcoming with live releases, their now-defunct Ten Club series, and even shared a new single – ‘Can’t Deny Me’ – back in 2018.
However, for the last few years, we’ve been hearing rumours of a new Pearl Jam album. While their latest single was said by the band’s website to be part of their forthcoming record, bassist Jeff Ament revealed the group had plenty of ideas for their new record, noting they “still need to record it”, and that they need “a good solid six to eight weeks carved out where we’re just recording all these ideas that we have.”
Since then, they revealed that the passing of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell slowed things down a bit, but have remained tight-lipped ever since. Now though, it looks like there could be an announcement about a new record imminent.
Check out examples of Pearl Jam’s augmented reality game:
As Stereogum reports, a new interactive map has appeared on the band’s website, and allows people to “look for Pearl Jam in cities around the world”.
The map also highlights global locations which, when attended, feature a billboard that boasts what appears to be cover artwork and the word “Gigaton” emblazoned across them when viewed through a special filter.
According to a post made by Italian fansite Pearl Jam Online, the artwork is shot by photographer Paul Nicklen and features melting glaciers, whose loss of ice caps are measured in gigatons.
Most excitingly, the site also gives a release date for the band’s upcoming project as March 27th. However, while it’s not been confirmed whether Gigaton is an album, single, or even something different, it appears as though it may have a theme related to the current climate crisis being experienced by the world.
Whatever the case, it’s definitely got fans feeling intrigued. By the looks of things, only one of these augmented reality billboards are available in Australia (at Ultimo, in Sydney), but there’s no saying if more will pop up soon.