Stephen Malkmus Embraces His Inner Folk with New Album 'Traditional Techniques'

Hear its "Xian Man" and see his North American tour dates

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Jan 22, 2020

Pavement hero Stephen Malkmus is already back with a new solo effort. Called Traditional Techniques, the album arrives on March 6 via Matador, and you can hear the lead-off single "Xian Man" now. What's more, he's coming to Canada on a North American tour.

This marks Malkmus's third proper solo LP without his backing back the Jicks — or Pavement. It follows last year's electronic-minded Groove Denied.

According to a press release, the record "is new phase folk music for new phase folks, with Malkmus as attuned as ever to the rhythms of the ever-evolving lingual slipstream. It's packed with handmade arrangements, modern folklore, and 10 songs written and performed in his singular voice."

It makes sense then that the album is centred on a 12-string acoustic guitar and "informed by a half-century of folk-rock reference points."

In addition to Malkmus, Traditional Techniques features Halfling engineer/arranger-in-residence Chris Funk (the Decemberists), with Matt Sweeney (Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Chavez) playing guitar throughout.

For a taste of what's in store, hear "Xian Man" below.

As for that tour, Malkmus and a newly formed backing band will be heading off on a spring North American tour. Canadian dates include Montreal on April 16 and Toronto on April 17.

Tickets go on on sale Friday (January 24) at 10 a.m. local time, and you can see the full schedule below.

Traditional Techniques:

1. ACC Kirtan
2. Xian Man
3. The Greatest Own in Legal History
4. Cash Up
5. Shadowbanned
6. What Kind of Person
7. Flowin' Robes
8. Brainwashed
9. Signal Western
10. Amberjack
Tour dates:

03/31 Minneapolis, MN - First Ave
04/01 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
04/02 Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
04/03 Louisville, KY - Headliners
04/04 Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom
04/05 Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
04/07 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
04/08 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
04/09 Richmond, VA - The National
04/10 Washington, DC - Black Cat
04/11 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
04/13 New York, NY - Webster Hall
04/15 Boston, MA - Royale
04/16 Montreal, QC - L'Astral
04/17 Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
04/18 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
04/19 Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall

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