In the 10-week run-up from Gigaton‘s announcement until today, the band released three of the 12 songs from the album in full: the Talking Heads-inspired “Dance of the Clairvoyants,” “Superblood Wolfmoon” and “Quick Escape.” “River Cross” was featured in a Verizon ad during the Super Bowl, and 15-second teasers of the album’s remaining tracks were shared on social media and via an old-school telephone hotline.
Gigaton found Pearl Jam working with a new co-producer, Josh Evans, who also contributed keyboards to “River Cross” and “Buckle Up.” Although it’s his first production effort with them, he previously served as an engineer on a pair of songs — a cover of Brandi Carlile‘s “Again Today” that appeared on a 2017 benefit album and the 2018 standalone single “Can’t Deny Me” — and has worked on solo and side projects by bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Mike McCready.
However, the band’s plans to promote Gigaton have not gone as expected. The outbreak of coronavirus forced them to postpone the North American leg of their tour, which was scheduled to begin March 18. They had also hoped to preview the album via a “listening experience” in more than 200 movie theaters around the world this past Wednesday (March 25), but that was canceled as locations began limiting mass gatherings of people in an attempt to slow down the spread of the disease.