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(Credit: Rebecca McMillan)

Music

Bret McKenzie launches two new songs from ‘Songs Without Jokes’

Bret McKenzie has so far beguiled fans with two beauteous tracks from his forthcoming album Songs Without Jokes. However, the jazzy cutesy showtune ‘A Little Song’ and the near-secretly profound 1980s-inflected ‘Dave’s Place’ have been so different that it was hard to see which direction the album was headed. 

Now, with ‘If You Wanna Go’ and ‘Tomorrow Today’, McKenzie has confirmed it will be a delicious smorgasbord akin to a box of chocolates. ‘If You Wanna Go’ happily sits somewhere between the first two singles with jazzy piano flourishes adding textures to an ‘80s pastiche, while ‘Tomorrow Today’ pushes forward into Tom Petty’s timeless rhythm. 

Both outings, or rather all four so far, in fact, are tied together with a brimming sense of joy. There is a wholesomeness to the songs that it is hard to come across in music. In the simplest sense, it is a meeting of sincerity and charm. Elements of Brandon Flowers, Elton John and Randy Newman might be displayed in the songwriting, but they are mere drops in a welter of unimpeached individualism. 

Accompanied by his pal Mickey Petralia behind the production desk and long-term collaborator Chris Caswell helping out with the arrangements, the songs are polished with just enough carefree air of creative celebration among chums to give them a dramatic reverie. The majority of songs were recorded in Los Angeles’ United Studio in just a few takes, and that shows… in the best possible way. 

The album, Songs Without Jokes, is set for release on August 26th via Sub Pop Records. Thereafter, McKenzie will be on tour in the UK from September 22nd, and I, for one, can’t wait to see him. You can find out more about the tour and how to pre-order your copy of the sunshine assegai and scintillatingly sweet anti-dote to the bombarded of our hectic lives that the record prescribes by clicking here

Oh, and do yourself a favour, take ten and check out the two new singles below. 

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