Lambchop - Showtunes (Release date: 5/21/2021)
City Slang: https://shop.cityslang.com/collections/lambchop (EU) - White - Bundle option available
Merge Records: https://www.mergerecords.com/product/showtunes (USA) - Translucent Orange - Bundle option available
Grimey's: https://www.grimeys.com/preorders/lambchop-showtunes - Clear with orange & white swirl vinyl signed by Kurt Wagner available exclusively via Grimey’s. Limited to 300 copies.
The new album from Nashville's finest evolves from years of experimental compositions written by bandleader Kurt Wagner on the piano (a first for the lauded song-writer). It's described by the artist as almost a post-modern twist on the American Songbook/ballad genre. Think of it almost like the cosmic cousin to the likes of early Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Gershwin, etc.
This also marks the first-time use of a new back-up group that includes James McNew (Yo La Tengo), Ryan Olson (Gayngs), Andrew Broder, producer Twit One, Eric Slick (Dr. Dog) and others. This switch-up revisits the original Lambchop motto that “anyone could be part of Lambchop (so long as they behaved themselves)". Showtunes was recorded at Battle Tapes in Nashville with Jeremy Ferguson & album art was once again created by Elise Tyler.
With Showtunes, as he has done so many times throughout his varied and fascinating career, in late 2019 Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner was experimenting with something new. He took simple guitar tracks and converted them into midi piano tracks. It was a revelation that from those conversions he was able to manipulate each note and add, subtract, arrange the chords and melody into a form that didn’t have any of the limitations he had with his previous methods of writing with a guitar.
Removing these limitations led to a surprising new sound, something akin to show tunes but with edges sanded down and viewed through Kurt’s own specific lens. it’s a genre he was none too fond of with the exceptions of a few Great American Songbook type of stuff or some of the works of artists like Tom Waits, early Randy Newman or even Gershwin or Carmichael. Kurt always wanted to make songs with a similar feel.