New Release: Lambchop – TRIP / Reflections

Lambchop: Created by New Formalists

In the fall of 2019, Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner had a unique idea: In lieu of going on what could become an unviable tour, he would invite the band to Nashville to make a record as a way to provide them with similar financial support and realise something tangible in the process. Each band member was tasked with choosing one song for the band to cover, and leading the recording session to completion each day.

The result of this is TRIP which will be released on 13th November. Lead single ‘Reservations’ – a cover of Wilco’s track and chosen by Matthew McCaughan – has been revealed…

Speaking of the track Wagner says: “As with all the covers on TRIP it was chosen not so much for it’s content or as a tribute to the original but for what our group could bring out in the recording of it. In this case I think it best demonstrates who we are as a group and what we are currently capable of expressing.”

“I also believe in this case Matthew McCaughan, who chose the song, said it best:”

“I’d like to say that Wilco’s ‘Reservations’ is a song I’ve always wanted to cover. But honestly, after a friend had mentioned it in a story, I had to go back and give it another listen. Picking out a cover is stressful for me. It’s kind of a dumb thing to stress about, but so many songs have memories tied to them, and I don’t want to cloud those memories. I usually pick one of those songs that I feel would fit the band, but then I go back and forth, wondering the best way to approach the arrangement. Should we honour the original and try to faithfully re-create all the sounds and performances that make the song special to me, or should we take it apart and start over? Then, add in the fact that the cover would be recorded and preserved forever. I could not think of one song that I couldn’t make an argument for both approaches, so it always ends in a one-person stalemate. So I decided I would pick a song that, while I love it, and know it, it wasn’t one that had been on repeat for months at some point in my life, nor was it one that is permanently tied to some memory of my own. Instead, I used my family’s and friends’ collections and recollections with and without their permission. That way I’d just ruin it for them. But it’s the thought that counts.”

TRIP sounds like a culmination of the band’s older catalogue fused with recent work. There’s a looseness and freedom that recalls their older sound mixed with a group sophistication and innovation derived through the process of playing together for so long. The title TRIP refers to the circumstances surrounding its creation and the endeavour of “touring” itself. “It also seems to describe a life in music and the situations we created in our life as a band over the years,” Wagner adds. “It’s been a trip…”

TRIP tracklist:

  1. Reservations (Jeff Tweedy) – chosen by Matthew McCaughan
  2. Where Grass Won’t Grow (Earl “Peanut” Montgomery) – chosen by Paul Niehaus
  3. Shirley (Jamie Klimek and Jim Crook) – chosen by Matt Swanson
  4. Golden Lady (Stevie Wonder) – chosen by Andy Stack
  5. Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone (Brian Holland, Edward Holland and Lamont Dozier) – chosen by Tony Crow
  6. Weather Blues (James McNew) – chosen by Kurt Wagner

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