Lambchop’s new album This (is what I wanted to tell you) will be released on March 22. The group (fittingly) shared “The December-ish you” along with last month’s announcement, and today, they deliver a second single and music video. “Everything for you” flits satisfyingly between tender piano and a driving yet subtle beat, and all the while, frontman Kurt Wagner’s voice drips with emotion barely masked by his now-familiar vocal effects as he grapples with the demands of our time with a quiet resolve.
Watch and listen to “Everything for you,” which Wagner describes as “a collection of imperfections on the road to a better day.”
Not so long ago, Lambchop had a famously sprawling line-up, toting a dozen or so members around the world and into the studio to document elliptical country-soul mutations. But in recent years, the band has become a more personal vehicle for Wagner. Anchored by him and framed by bassist Matt Swanson and Wagner’s incorrigibly grinning foil, the pianist Tony Crow, the Lambchop of this decade has become more pliant and adaptable, opening itself to unexpected collaborators that give Wagner’s thoughts and feelings the shape they need for each new album. That was the idea for 2012’s engrossing Mr. M and 2016’s staggering (and tragically timed, we should say here) FLOTUS, and it remains the approach for This (is what I wanted to tell you).
In the summer of 2017, Wagner became reacquainted with Matt McCaughan, who has spent the last decade drumming for the likes of Bon Iver and Hiss Golden Messenger. They became instant musical pen pals, with Wagner sending him a cappella takes of new song ideas and McCaughan dispatching long-form synthesizer pieces for inspiration. McCaughan eventually headed to Nashville, where, together, they put a band behind the songs, using pedal steel and piano and the harmonica of Nashville legend Charlie McCoy to color in the spaces of these black-and-white sketches. That unexpected human connection—that is, rekindling an old friendship to make music in a way you never imagined—is a happy answer to the worries of This (is what I wanted to tell you), an album whose honesty pulls on your heart with the weight of absolute empathy. Stunning, beautiful, and surprising, This is a record you just need to hear.
Lambchop on tour:
Apr 12 Nijmegen, NL – Doornroosje
Apr 13 Copenhagen, DK – DR Koncerthuset, Studie 2
Apr 14 Oslo, NO – Röverstaden
Apr 15 Gothenburg, SE – Pustervik
Apr 17 Leipzig, DE – Felsenkeller
Apr 18 Munich, DE – Muffathalle
Apr 19 Vienna, AT – WUK
Apr 20 Darmstadt, DE – Centralstation
Apr 21 London, UK – EartH
Apr 23 Paris, FR – Maroquinerie
Apr 24 Bern, CH – Dachstock, Reitschule
Apr 25 Zurich, CH – Rote Fabrik
Apr 26 Berlin, DE – Funkhaus
Apr 27 Cologne, DE – Gloria
Apr 28 Brussels, BE – Nuits Botanique Festival
Apr 29 Hamburg, DE – Elbphilharmonie
Apr 30 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso Noord
Aug 2–4 Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon