more from
Merge Records

Acoustic Foolish

by Superchunk

supported by
Zirujauak thumbnail
Zirujauak The original Foolish came out right as I started working at a campus radio station and discovered "underground" music. These new arrangements are a poignant reflection 25 years on; I'm (a little) more mature and the songs filter through (a little) more life experience, but are just as powerful and now carry a balance of youthful exuberance and aged sentiment. Favorite track: Why Do You Have to Put a Date on Everything (2019 Acoustic).
William Haupt
William Haupt thumbnail
William Haupt The strings on Like A Fool are gorgeous. Thank you for letting us re-experience these fantastic songs. So glad Superchunk is active and recording! Favorite track: Like a Fool (2019 Acoustic).
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8 USD  or more




Recorded mainly live in the studio by John Plymale at Overdub Lane.
Strings recorded by Owen Pallett. Sax recorded by Matt Douglas.
Mixed by John Plymale and Mac.

Mac’s notes:

Our original idea for an all-acoustic album was for it to be a selection of songs from all our albums, played in the style of an acoustic performance in a record store or a radio station, which we have done quite a bit of over the years (and documented on the first of our “Clambake” series in 2001).

But with 2019 being the 25th anniversary of the Foolish album, it seemed weirder and more interesting to record an acoustic version of one whole album. I didn’t want this to sound like “acoustic demos recorded 25 years after the fact” or a band trying to “rock out” except on acoustic guitars, though to be fair we do some rocking out. Once we got into the process of learning how to play the songs on acoustic guitars—some of which we had never performed at all—it made sense to make this record its own thing altogether.

When Foolish came out, people kind of freaked out that all the guitar sounds weren’t as distorted as they had been, and it was treated as a radical departure from what we had been doing. Which is funny listening to the original album now because it pretty much sounds like our other records. But I started thinking about the acoustic version of the album as “what Foolish would have sounded like if it were as different as people acted like it was.” So—we have guests, we have strings, we have piano, we have a saxophone!

The songs themselves, extracted from the drama of the moment and what people wanted to write about then, are more applicable to Real Life than I thought they would be. Without the embarrassing angst of the 25-year-old, they are just songs about transitions, holding grudges or trying not to, letting go of things that aren’t healthy, moving through difficult situations and relationships and trying to be “normal” in the course of all that, even though there’s no such thing.

We are lucky to have Allison Crutchfield, Matt Douglas, Peter Holsapple, Owen Pallett, and Jenn Wasner lend their great talents to the record and also lucky that Jon has an arsenal of small bells and a vibraslap.


released May 31, 2019

Superchunk is Laura Ballance, Mac McCaughan, Jim Wilbur and Jon Wurster.

Strings on “Like a Fool and “In a Stage Whisper” arranged and played by Owen Pallett.
Additional vocals on “The First Part” by Allison Crutchfield.
Piano on “Driveway to Driveway” and “Stretched Out” by Peter Holsapple.
Saxophone on “Saving My Ticket” by Matt Douglas.
Additional vocals on “Keeping Track” by Jenn Wasner.

Recorded mainly live in the studio by John Plymale at Overdub Lane.
Strings recorded by Owen Pallett.
Saxophone recorded by Matt Douglas.
Mixed by John Plymale and Mac.
Mastered by Chris Boerner at The Kitchen.

Dogs by Laura, rabbits by Diane Jefferis.


all rights reserved



Superchunk Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Formed in 1989 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Superchunk is Mac McCaughan (guitar, vocals), Jim Wilbur (guitar, backing vocals), Jon Wurster (drums, backing vocals), and Laura Ballance (bass, backing vocals). Since releasing their first 7-inch in 1989, Superchunk has run the gamut of milestone albums: early punk rock stompers, polished mid-career masterpieces, and lush, adventurous curveballs. ... more


contact / help

Contact Superchunk

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

If you like Superchunk, you may also like: