Pearl Jam's cosmically charged rock journey continues with new album 'Dark Matter' — Listen to the 1st single

Legendary rockers Pearl Jam are drawing inspiration from beyond our planet for a second consecutive album. 

The first single, "Dark Matter," released today (Feb. 13), is a hard rocker that draws comparisons between the mysterious stuff that neither emits nor absorbs light despite making up more than 80% of the material universe and the negative, or "dark" emotions induced by demagogues that walk the Earth. 

Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder's leanings into the space realm have been plentiful as of late. In the last few years, he has collaborated with NASA on a music video inspired by the Artemis program and has even called the International Space Station

The band's previous record, "Gigaton," released in 2020, has a song called "Quick Escape," which features an imaginative trip to Mars, according to Vedder's lyrics: "And here we are, the Red Planet/ Craters across the skyline."

Related: Space.com's full review of "Gigaton"

Some of the lyrics of "Dark Matter" — "Steal the light from your eyes/ Drain the blood from our hearts" and "Renounce the demagogues/ King Diamond to discard," for example — give the impression, to this listener at least, that Vedder is metaphorically referring to the effects of the heated political climate in the United States. 

Pearl Jam are no strangers to political controversy. For example, Vedder shared his thoughts on President George W. Bush in the song "Bu$hleaguer," from the band's 2002 album "Riot Act." 

"Dark Matter" touches upon other contentious subjects as well, as shown by lyrics like "Arrested the Press" and "Your word against the law." Pearl Jam continues to unabashedly speak their mind through their music, a staple of the grunge rock pioneers. 

Pearl Jam, from left to right: Mike McCready (lead guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Eddie Vedder (vocals), and Matt Cameron (drums)  (Image credit: Danny Clinch)

Cover for Pearl Jam's new record "Dark Matter" with light painting art by Alexandr Gnezdilov.  (Image credit: Pearl Jam / Alexandr Gnezdilov)

The band also announced a world tour in support of "Dark Matter," set to begin in May 2024, and unveiled the full track list for the new album that will be released on April 19. 

1. Scared of Fear
2. React Respond
3. Wreckage
4. Dark Matter
5. Won't Tell
6. Upper Hand
7. Waiting for Stevie
8. Running
9. Something Special
10. Got to Give
11. Setting Sun

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Steve Spaleta
Senior Producer

Steve Spaleta is Space.com's Senior Producer. Since 2007, Steve has produced and edited space, science and entertainment-related videos for Space.com. He is also the producer/writer/editor of Space.com's CosMix series on space-enthused artists. He studied psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is originally from Zadar, Croatia by way of Astoria, NY. To see Steve's latest project, follow him on Twitter and follow Space.com's VideoFromSpace YouTube Channel.


  • STARPUNK
    Sounds very good. When the Seattle grunge scene exploded in 1991 I embraced it, and I still enjoy Nirvana and Soundgarden and P Jam and later the Foo Fighters too but not post-Nirvana bands like Bush, Silverchair or Creed (CRUD) at all. But Pearl Jam has gotten only better with time and the same goes for Dinosaur Jr. I really like Eddie Vedder's recent solo CD 'Earthling' and this new one from PJ looks very promising in itself. Some other rock acts like David Bowie and RUSH, Pink Floyd and even ELO have explored space and astronomy themes which is something I've always enjoyed.
    It's coming out just over a week after that solar eclipse. :) Looks like we have a treat in store for us if this is any indication.
    Reply