NEWS : WED, JUL 27, 2022 at 7:00 AM
Hear Bret McKenzie’s “If You Wanna Go” and “Tomorrow Today,” Two New Tracks From Songs Without Jokes
Today, Bret McKenzie is sharing two new tracks titled “If You Wanna Go” and “Tomorrow Today,” from Songs Without Jokes, his forthcoming new album. Uncut says of the album, “Baroque-pop delight. Evocative of Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman at their most extroverted. McKenzie’s songs provide great warmth (8/10).”
Written mostly during the quieter moments of 2019, with his life split between work in Los Angeles and his family in Wellington, the songs of Songs focus on themes of escape, the perpetual search for peace, and navigating a life being pulled in multiple directions at once. There are also simple meditations on driving through a city and the weather. McKenzie was inspired by the path his aforementioned idols like Newman and Nilsson had paved, where a silly or playful number could be sandwiched directly between a song about heartbreak or an earnest redemption and a scathing satire or character commentary. He threw a bit of everything into the mix, recording ideas on his phone at home in New Zealand after the kids had gone to sleep. Upon returning to LA, he would play the sketches for his longtime producer and collaborator, Mickey Petralia, who helped McKenzie identify the best moments, then together they would add parts and shape the songs. From there, longtime film collaborator Chris Caswell created charts for that same ensemble of session players with whom they’d recorded so many pieces for film. The majority of songs were then recorded at United Studio in Los Angeles in just a few takes.
Songs Without Jokes is available to preorder now from Sub Pop. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers in North America, UK and Europe will received the limited Loser Edition on blue vinyl (while supplies last).
Songs Without Jokes, which features the aforementioned “If You Wanna Go” and “Tomorrow Today” along with “Dave’s Place,” and “A Little Tune,” was produced by Mickey Petralia and McKenzie, mixed by Darrell Thorpe, with songs recorded at East West Studios and United Recordings, and mastered by Dave Ives at 101 Mastering in Los Angeles.
Songs Without Jokes
1. This World
2. If You Wanna Go
3. Dave’s Place
4. Here for You
5. That’s L.A.
6. Up in Smoke
7. Carry On
8. A Little Tune
9. America Goodbye
10. Tomorrow Today
11. Crazy Times