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May 21 street date. In late 2019, Kurt Wagner was experimenting with something new, something that would eventually reveal itself as Lambchop's "Showtunes". 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.
For the first time, longtime friend and collaborator James McNew of Yo La Tengo joins on upright bass. As for the content of the songs, it's tempting to look at everything through the lens of the world we now live in. However, Kurt is quick to point out that these songs were conceived pre-COVID.