Born with a knack for conjuring fine images and warm sounds with a curious underbelly, Midwestern-bred, New York-based Max Clarke will release Hollow Ground, his debut album as Cut Worms, on May 4th via Jagjaguwar. In conjunction with today’s announcement, Clarke is presenting lead single, ‘Don’t Want To Say Good-bye,’ and an accompanying animated lyric video created by John Andrews. Clarke will embark on a North American tour supporting King Tuff on the album’s release date, and this month, he plays SXSW.

‘Don’t Want To Say Goodbye’ is best described as friendly. Reminiscent of early Beatles and 50’s rock n roll, it’s a springy playful song with an unerdlying lapsteel giving it a slight country feel. Accompanied by it’s equally playful lyric video that feels like Wes Anderson was given a paint set, it’s sure to be ludicrously popular with the people that listen to this, although I have to admit I don’t know who that is exactly. It’s a very niche sound, albeit well crafted.

Hollow Ground is imbued with a sharp, self-aware lyricism; Clarke shows an affinity for evocative storytelling, striking the balance between cerebral and simplicity. Sometimes, on Hollow Ground, we find characters impossibly lustful, sometimes brooding, while in other parts they fumble along, hopeful and painfully self-aware. His songwriting both evokes and explores the raw realm of youth, its weightlessness and possibilities, but channels it through the lens of someone more restrained, who’s been through it all before.