While it feels like their 100th album, at best guess, it’s actually their 15th studio album. Kurt seems to have discovered the piano, so you can expect something a little bit different. You can hear the first single Chef’s Kiss below.
Lambchop announce New Album – Showtunes – Out 21st of May via City Slang
Speaking of lead single ‘A Chef’s Kiss’ Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner says: “The track is a reflection on the temporal nature of life and ultimately of song itself. A “chef’s kiss”, being a gesture toward something perfected or well done, even loved.”
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. By taking simple guitar tracks and converting them into midi piano tracks, “suddenly I discovered I could “play” the piano” he says. “It was a revelation that from those conversions I 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 I had with my 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. “In general, it’s a genre I was none too fond of”, Kurt is quick to admit, “with the exceptions of a few Great American Songbook type of stuff or some of the works of artists like Tom Waits or early Randy Newman or even Gershwin or Carmichael. I’d always wanted to make songs with a similar feel but my skills were limited until now”. Around the same time Kurt was preparing for a live show. He’d been asked to participate in the Wisconsin based Eaux Claires summer festival, originally founded by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner of The National. Inspired by the originality of the performances he’d seen during the 2018 PEOPLE Festival in Berlin and some of the people he’d met there, he once again set off in pursuit of something new and reached out to Ryan Olson and Andrew Broder to flesh out those rough piano ideas. Needless to say the show never happened, but the ideas continued to grow and lead to something bigger, a whole new era for Lambchop.
Watch the lyric video for ‘A Chef’s Kiss’ here:
Watch the Showtunes album trailer here: