Pavement leader Stephen Malkmus has released a new solo album, Traditional Techniques.
Malkmus backs off the throttle for this new ten-track LP, opting to delve deeper into his ’60s blues rock influences. Shimmering 12-string guitar progressions fill the void typically held by jangly, distorted indie guitars, and the singer lowers his voice accordingly. It all gives Traditional Techniques an intimate sound not found anywhere else in the singer’s 30-year career.
“It was a little bit of a risk to play like that naturally,” Malkmus told Rolling Stone of the record’s raw sound. “Also, to not make it ‘unplugged,’ you know? Certainly, I like Nirvana Unplugged. But I had to get my head around actually doing acoustic music that’s not just unplugged. That took getting other people I didn’t know, like a stand-up bass player, some world-music jammers that you hear on there, and Chris [Funk] with the interest in resonating guitars and slide and things that I don’t know how to do myself.”
The aforementioned Chris Funk (also of the Decemberists) produced Traditional Techniques, while acclaimed session guitarist Matt Sweeney appeared on the LP alongside Qais Essar.
Malkmus’ last solo effort was 2019’s Groove Denied, the singer’s first LP without his mainstay band the Jicks. Listen to Traditional Techniques here:
And watch the creepy video for Traditional Techniques cut “Shadowbanned” below: