BRET MCKENZIE announces debut solo record

BRET MCKENZIE announces debut solo record

On August 26th, 2022, Bret McKenzie will release Songs Without Jokes, his full-length, solo debut, worldwide through Sub Pop.

The album, which features lead single ‘A Little Tune,’ and additional highlights ‘Dave’s Place,’ ‘If You Wanna Go,’ and ‘America Goodbye,’ was produced by Mickey Petralia and McKenzie, mixed by Darrell Thorpe, with songs recorded at East West Studios and United Recordings, and mastered by Dave Ives at 101 Mastering in Los Angeles.

Watch the charming, official (and officially charming…) video for a ‘A Little Tune,‘ which stars McKenzie, directed by Ezra Simons, produced by Ezra and Gussie Larkin, and shot at Royal Whanganui Opera House, the last Victorian theatre remaining in New Zealand.

As you can probably glean from that gleaming album title above, McKenzie—whom you know from such modern musical treasures as comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, The Muppets movie reboots and other ace family-film soundtracks, Lord of the Rings fan blogs, guest songs for The Simpsons, cycling around the streets in his native New Zealand, and more— has a new solo record coming out filled with songs that ARE NOT COMEDY SONGS! For members of the press, we thoughtfully provide some irresistible story headlines below, for Bret’s sake and your convenience.

-Kiwi Flies, and Solo!

-Songs From One Bloke

-Three (Con)chords (Minus Two Conchords) and the Truth

-Uh-Oh! Rhymenoceros on the Loose!

-Bretty or Not, Here He Comes

There. Now doesn’t that feel better? Sometimes it helps just to get it out in the open.

So, yeah, Bret’s a ridiculously funny dude, and you might even call him one of the best comedy songwriters in the biz. He’s had smash hits, he’s won major awards, he’s the better-dressed part of his duo…he’s got a good thing going! So, what gives with this whole “songs without jokes” solo stuff, man?

“Post-Conchords, I’d been working on songs for the Muppets films, and during a session I had the thought that it would be fun someday to work on some songs that weren’t for someone else, that don’t have to tell a story or be funny or continue the narrative plot, checking all the boxes for the character in the movie,” McKenzie says. “I thought it’d be fun to do a record like that, something different.”

Adding to his successful track record of writing and performing across most genres of pop music, McKenzie is a fan of wry, literate artists like Harry NilssonSteely DanRandy Newman and Dire Straits. He’s a talented player of multiple instruments and a veteran of several non-comedy bands back in the day, most notably the reggae-based fusion group The Black Seeds. Yet, while songs without jokes are just as much in his blood as those with, he recognizes that most people who know his work will arrive expecting a laugh. Hence, the album’s title (read full bio at Sub Pop).

McKenzie, along with his seven-piece band, has scheduled (international headlining shows)  in support of Songs Without Jokes, beginning September 2nd in Nelson, New Zealand at Trafalgar Center and currently ending Sunday, November 20th in Atlanta, Georgia at the Eastern.

BRET MCKENZIE Songs Without Jokes


Friday, 2 September       
Trafalgar Centre | Nelson, NZ | 0800 111 000

Saturday, 3 September
Town Hall | Christchurch, NZ | 0800 842 538

Sunday, 4 September 
Town Hall | Dunedin, NZ | 0800 111 000

Monday, 5 September           
Civic Theatre | Invercargill, NZ | 0800 842 538

Thursday, 8 September     
Opera House | Wellington, NZ | 0800 111 000

Monday, 12 September 
Royal Whanganui Opera House | Whanganui, NZ | 0800 842 538

Tuesday, 13 September 
Opera House | Hastings, NZ

Wednesday, 14 September          
Town Hall | Auckland, NZ | 0800 111 000

Bret McKenzie Songs Without Jokes

1. This World
2. If You Wanna Go
3. Dave’s Place
4. Here for You
5. That’s L.A.
6. Up in Smoke
7. Carry On
8. A Little Tune
9. America Goodbye
10. Tomorrow Today
11. Crazy Times


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