Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks delivered one of the few great rock albums last year with Sparkle Hard. On March 15th, however, the Pavement frontman will return with less Jicks and more keyboards on his first solo album in 18 years, Groove Denied.
For the last year, Malkmus has teased the release, referring to it as his rejected electronic album, though that’s not exactly the case. His label Matador simply suggested he release his more straightforward rock album first and have Groove Denied serve as a coda.
It’s one hell of a coda, though, as Malkmus ditches the six-string for a smorgasbord of left-of-the-dial equipment and sounds, specifically (in his words), “Bass, drums, E drums with addictive drums, shitloads of weird old echoes, ableton, memory moog, roland 2080, 808, simmons drum machine, boss 303, guitar, vox, tambourine, shakers, organ, and Yamaha keyboard.”
According to a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Malkmus worked on the album by his lonesome for nearly 13 years, recording 90% of it in Oregon with the rest of it having been tracked in Berlin. Despite all the changes, he insists, “It’s not that experimental.”
“It’s just me with drum machines,” Malkmus contends. “Guitars are not the focus. They’re on there, but the guitar player’s not really the alpha. Towards the end, it starts bleeding into guitar-ness. It’s waters I don’t usually swim in. I don’t think it’s too much of a head-scratcher.”
See for yourself with the new music video for first single “Viktor Borgia”, which finds Malkmus hosting a digital dance-off between Ariana Grande and a random businessman. The whole thing looks like something Kraftwerk would dream up.
In anticipation, and possibly to clear up any possible questions, Malkmus has also released a special promotional interview. It’s only a minute long, but hey, Malkmus dressed sharp for the occasion. Watch below.
Groove Denied Artwork:
Groove Denied Tracklist:
01. Belziger Faceplant
02. A Bit Wilder
03. Viktor Borgia
04. Come Get Me
05. Forget Your Place
06. Rushing The Acid Frat
07. Love The Door
09. Ocean of Revenge
To support the album, Malkmus will hit the road come May with a selection of dates that take him all across North America. Consult his itinerary below.
Stephen Malkmus 2019 Tour Dates:
05/01 – Toronto ON @ The Great Hall
05/03 – Somerville MA @ Arts At The Armory
05/04 – Ardmore PA @ Ardmore Music Hall
05/05 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage
05/07 – Austin TX @ 3TEN ACL Live
05/10 – Portland OR @ Doug Fir Louge
05/11 – Seattle WA @ Columbia City Theater
05/14 – San Francisco CA @ Swedish American Hall
05/15 – Los Angeles CA @ Lodge Room