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LAMBCHOP

Lambchop

Nixon - Reissue

    Much has been said and written about Nixon, the album that broke Nashville's finest little big band into the mainstream in the UK (we walked into the Met bar one night in 2000 and saw Noel Gallagerand Patsy Kensit and people like that, and guess what was playing on the bar's hifi? Is that considered mainstream?). It was album of the month left right and center and album of the year in Uncut, if we remember it correctly. Maybe not. Still, it's sophisticated mix of alt.country, white man's soul music, gospel choirs and thick use of strings and Kurt Wagner's last chance to lay down some falsetto vocals before age, smoking and whiskey caught up with him were a sensation. The Zero 7 remix of Up With People added longevity and weight to a campaign that stretched well into 2001. This re-issue comes with an additional full concert DVD from Lambchop's second London show at the legendary Royal Festival Hall with an added string section. Filmed by a TV company that consequently went bust, we were able to save this gem of a document from the vaults of the insolvency and present it here in its raw original form.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Red vinyl.

    With ’This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You)’ Lambchop Continue To Establish Themselves As Forerunners And Innovators Of What Was Once Called Alt Country. Their Sound Has Morphed To Encompass Multiple Genres, Blending Folk Songwriting With The Tones Of Urban Soul.

    Following On From The Pioneering Sounds Of ‘Flotus' (2017), ’This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You)’ Showcases Lambchop At A New Peak In Their Career, Whilst Still Retaining The Ingredients Of Their Classic Albums. ’This’ Is Brimming With Ideas, Songs And Hooks. A Huge Influence On The New Direction Is Matthew McCaughan (of Bon Iver And Hiss Golden Messenger), Who Produced And Co-wrote Large Parts Of The Album With Kurt Wagner (Lambchop Frontman) Over A Period Of Two Years.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Though we all know Kurt Wagner has a beautiful voice, this extensive use of the vocoder takes the focus away from his beguiling vox into the glitchy, dynamic instrumentation, as smoothly reminiscent as ever, but with a superb, fractured instrumental underclay coalescing into a huge, textured bed of bliss.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

    To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Lambchop’s 1998 album ’What Another Man Spills’ has been pressed to vinyl for the first time after it’s original release 20 years ago! Remastered from the original DAT and featuring refreshed artwork.

    What Another Man Spills (1998) represents a milestone in Lambchop’s career, but not in the modern sense of a ‘landmark’ release. Building on foundations that had once sounded almost literally creaky, it expands upon the tentative manoeuvres they’d undertaken with the previous year’s Thriller (1997) and gestures confidently towards its brassy successor, Nixon, which would arrive in 2000 to wild acclaim and previously unimaginable commercial success.

    Liner notes by Kurt Wagner himself.

    Lambchop are back! Their new album, For Love Often Turns Us Still (in short FLOTUS … yes FLOTUS), arrives just in time for the bands' 30th Anniversary and in time for one of the most tumultuous years in history; not least in American history. Kurt Wagner is still painting musical miniatures as well as dramatic landscapes like no-one else right now. Though this year something is different, the fragile songs are as much about the tiny details of living in a struggling neighborhood in Nashville, which faces new challenges, as it is about the grand scheme of things without naming them.

    Musically, the devil is in the details. The stylistic sound of Lambchop is thriving but it’s made out of pieces unheard of before. 2016 is a new chapter for a lot of people and a lot of bands and is certainly a new chapter for Lambchop, returning with their most ambitious and important record to date. Be surprised and be carried away by this quiet and beautiful masterpiece where it’s intensity rings louder than sirens.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A slightly more electronic sound on this newest one from Lambchop, while retaining the same languid vibes and hazy-day melodies. Vocoders and smooth synths nuzzle up next to drifting ambience, silky drums and echoing guitar plucks. While their delivery has changed a little, this is all still clearly the Lambchop we know and love. Turn it up and get the (winter) barbecue out.

    The ever-modest Lambchop boss presented ‘Is A Woman’ to Cityslang with these words: "Here's my new album. I hope you'll like it. It's a bunch of samey, downtempo stuff that doesn't really seem to go anywhere." Little did he know. Is A Woman broke Lambchop to the same place on the European continent where Nixon had previously taken the band in the UK. It was instantly recognized as a modern classic and described by one famous German critic as "one of the best albums ever made". We couldn't agree more.

    PRESS: quotes from original release:

    ‘Another mature masterpiece from America's finest.’ AOTM 5/5 – Uncut

    ‘It's a brave and curious record that, as on 'Bugs', occasionally resembles Willie Nelson fronting Labradford.’ 8/10 – NME

    ‘A strange delight of a record.’ 8/10 – Popmatters

    ‘A record that urges you to lean closer to the speakers in order to fully hear everything that is being played and sung.’ – The Wire

    ‘These gradual pleasures fly in the face of today's pop/rock hardsell, for sure, but inexorably you are drawn into Kurt's world.’ 4/5 - Mojo

    MR. M is Lambchop’s eleventh album on City Slang and documents the band at its best, it encapsulates one of the most profound moments in Lambchop history. Kurt Wagner turned away from music and picked up his brushes to paint his way out of a funk that followed the premature death of friend Vic Chesnutt, who the band backed on 1998’s The Salesman and Bernadette. Incidentally the paintings, thickly layered black and white portraits forming a series called Beautillion Millitaire 2000, feature on the album sleeve and throughout the full artwork-

    “As I worked, I was approached by Mark Nevers (former full time band member & producer for the likes of Andrew Bird and Will Oldham) with the idea of making another Lambchop record. He had a concept of a sound and a method that worked with the tone of my writing. His idea was a kind of ‘psycha-Sinatra’ sound, one that involved the arranging of strings and other sounds in a more open and yet complex way. It was a studio creation, not a type of recording based on band performance, and this was a radical approach for us. I felt Lambchop had one more good record in us, and this time I was going to do things as directly and true to my desires as possible.”

    The resulting album stretches out as sonically as promised. It was recorded at Nevers’s Nashville Beech House studio cum bungalow with the usual core of musicians- Scott Martin (drums), Matt Swanson (bass), Ryan Norris (guitar, organ), Tony Crow (piano), William Tyler (guitar). Guests include original cofounder Jonathan Marx, Cortney Tidwell (who shared vocals on 2010’s KORT project) and fiddler Billy Contreras (who has worked with all from Charlie Louvin to Laura Cantrell) - spectacular string arrangements shared between Peter Stopschinski and Mason Neely.

    So much has changed since Kurt Wagner first led Lambchop out of his downstairs basement where they used to rehearse, at his house in a quiet Nashville suburb. Back then they were a ramshackle outfit, a charming drinking buddy collective taking the music they heard around them in Music City – the butt of jokes amongst the critical elite at the time – and mixing it with the music that they loved, Wagner topping it all off with his weird, abstract lyrics. They were a curiosity: the fact that anyone would want to release the album they recorded as great a surprise to the band as anyone. Perhaps, if it had not been picked up by a small group of fervent fans and critics seduced by what the band archly called 'The New Sound Of Nashville', it would have been their only album. Yet now, almost two decades later, Lambchop return with their tenth, "OH (Ohio)" which continues the Lambchop tradition, where each successive record represents a new stage in the evolution of their distinctive sound. It's a natural process which has seen them progress from their shambolic early recordings on "Jack's Tulips" / "I Hope You're Sitting Down" to the off kilter pop experimentalism of "What Another Man Spills" on to the joyful soul of "Nixon" and then, pointedly, its polar opposite, the piano-led minimalism of "Is A Woman". Most recently "Damaged" saw Wagner leave the porch from which he had viewed the world for so long and start looking inside himself, his dark meditations on mortality and human frailty matched by a band capable of taking delicacy to delicious new heights. "OH (Ohio)" finds Kurt delving deeper into himself – the songs were road-tested on a Wagner solo tour of the UK and Europe in 2007. This time, Wagner has chosen not to highlight the album's lyrics so as to preserve the integrity of the songs as whole entities, not parts.


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