Bret McKenzie Announces Debut Solo Album ‘Songs Without Jokes’

Like Tim Heidecker before him, Bret McKenzie is attempting the leap from comedy songs to Songs Without Jokes. That’s the title of the Flight Of The Conchords member and Oscar-nominated Muppets composer’s forthcoming solo debut album for Sub Pop, which features, per its title, non-comedic compositions by McKenzie. He explains the project’s genesis in a press release:

Post-Conchords, I’d been working on songs for the Muppets films, and during a session I had the thought that it would be fun someday to work on some songs that were not for someone else, that do not have to tell a story or be funny or continue the narrative plot, checking all the boxes for the character in the movie. I thought it’d be fun to do a record like that, something different.

McKenzie cites influences like Harry Nilsson, Steely Dan, Randy Newman, and Dire Straits, and you can certainly hear them in “A Little Tune,” the jaunty, theatrical, old-timey piano-pop song that serves as the lead single from Songs Without Jokes. Ezra Simons directed the video at the Royal Whanganui Opera House, the last remaining Victorian theater in New Zealand. Watch below.

TRACKLIST:
01 “This World”
02 “If You Wanna Go”
03 “Dave’s Place”
04 “Here For You”
05 “That’s LA”
06 “Up In Smoke”
07 “Carry On”
08 “A Little Tune”
09 “America Goodbye”
10 “Tomorrow Today”
11 “Crazy Times”

Songs Without Jokes is out 8/26 on Sub Pop. Pre-order it here.

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