Daily Distraction: Lambchop offers up 'A Chef's Kiss'

Get a first taste of new album 'Showtunes,' releasing May 21 on Merge Records

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Lambchop's Kurt Wagner

The new Lambchop album, Showtunes, is due out May 21 on Merge Records. In anticipation, singer and songwriter Kurt Wagner has offered up "A Chef's Kiss," the first single released off the forthcoming long-player, a tune he described in a release as "a reflection on the temporal nature of life and ultimately of song itself."

In the press release, Wagner writes that the new album started by taking simple guitar tracks and turning them into MIDI piano tracks. “Suddenly I discovered I could ‘play’ the piano,” Wagner wrote. “It was a revelation that from those conversions, I was able to manipulate each note and add, subtract, arrange the chords and melody into a form that didn’t have any of the limitations I had with my previous methods of writing with a guitar.”

Wagner described the songs that emerged from these experiments as "akin to show tunes but with edges burnished."

"A Chef's Kiss," which you can listen to below, doesn't exactly hit with the Vegas glitz some associate with the word "showtunes," tending more toward the type of melancholic balladry for which Wagner has become known ("It took 'til death to tell your story," he offers at one point).

Think of this less as the show-stopping, all-cast finale than the tender number that reveals the busted heart beneath the glitter.