Bret McKenzie, probably more popularly known as half of New Zealand’s 4th best folk duo Flight of the Conchords, has just announced details of his debut full-length LP. Despite having written many songs without his Conchords accomplice, Jemaine Clement, in the past – his song ‘Am I A Man Or Am I A Muppet’ for example bagged an Academy Award for Best Original Song – Songs Without Jokes marks his first long-form attempt to go solo. Set for release on August 26th, McKenzie has confirmed that the project is NOT going to be a comedy album. Watch the video for the lead single ‘A Little Tune’ below.
Regarding his own newfound seriousness, McKenzie had this to say, “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 weren’t for someone else, that doesn’t have to tell a story or be funny or continue the narrative plot, checking all the boxes for the character in the movie,” the statement continues, “I thought it’d be fun to do a record like that, something different.”
Making comedy music is an art that not everyone has the ability to pull off. Obviously, comedy (along with every other art form) is subjective, so what I think about Tim Minchin or Bo Burnham might be very different to you, but if you compare the number of successful musicians to the amount of actually funny ones… the trend is clear. It’s pretty much common knowledge at this point that if you say anything even reasonably funny onstage and your audience will let you take it, the easiest comedy show in the world. Now we get the opportunity to see whether or not these skills are easily transferred in the other direction, can you just stop being funny? To what extent will it affect your songwriting? You can pre-order the album here to find out soon.
The announcement of new material also comes with a pretty substantial world tour, beginning in New Zealand this September, the tour will quickly find itself in the UK. 10 dates from September 22nd – October 9th, you can look into full ticket information here. The tour will then take to the states for another month before concluding in Atlanta on November 20th. I imagine most of the immediate response will come from Flight of the Conchords fans, so might we find ourselves a few sneaky covers thrown into the mix? A quick jazzy rendition of ‘A Kiss Is Not A Contract’ could slot into the vibe perfectly. Tickets go on sale next Tuesday (May 17th).
See below the full UK tour dates:
22/9/22 – Birmingham – Town Hall
23/9 – Leeds – O2 Academy
26/9 – London – Eventim Apollo
29/9 – Nottingham – Royal Concert Hall
01/10 – Portsmouth – Guildhall
03/10 – Cardiff – St. David’s Hall
04/10 – Edinburgh – Academy
05/10 – Newcastle upon Tyne – O2 City Hall Newcastle
07/10 – Manchester – O2 Apollo
09/10 – Dublin – The National Stadium