Lambchop – FLOTUS
Kurt Wagner goes full Bon Iver on Lambchop's most adventurous record to date.
The term “alt-country” never sat well with Lambchop, whose music owes as much to blues, soul, jazz and even low-key lounge, as it does to the band’s Nashville roots. FLOTUS (which means For Love Often Turns Us Still rather than First Lady of the United States) sees Kurt Wagner’s troupe sever links with the nebulous genre completely. Only the superb opening track In Care of 8675309 sticks within the parameters of traditional strong structure, and even that weighs in at almost 12 minutes.
The rest of the record sees Lambchop venture further down an electronic rabbit hole than anyone could have expected. Wagner’s vocals, which have been veering closer to breaking point on each recent release, are morphed with vocoder and distortion. Pedal steels have been replaced with samplers and synthesisers, and it works. 18-minute album closer The Hustle recently provided the soundtrack to the beautiful Bill Morrison film The Dockworker’s Dream. Exquisite and ethereal, it is also appropriately epic. A dozen records deep in their career, we find Lambchop at their most adventurous, and it sounds wonderful.
Listen to: NIIV, The Hustle