Flight Of The Conchords’ Bret McKenzie Is Putting Out A Non-Comedic Solo Album, ‘Songs Without Jokes’

Flight Of The Conchords was the toast of comedic music in the 2000s, although since the end of the HBO show in 2009, they’ve been relatively quiet as a duo. Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie kept busy individually, though: Clement has done plenty of acting while McKenzie has stuck more to music, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Man Or Muppet,” from 2014’s Muppets Most Wanted.

Now, McKenzie is looking to get deeper into music by releasing Songs Without Jokes, a solo album of non-comedic tunes (although maybe one of the songs, “Dave’s Place,” is a reference to Arj Barker’s Flight Of The Conchords character Dave). The album was announced today and it’s set for release on August 26. Today also brings the single “A Little Tune,” a jaunty and theatrical number.

McKenzie says of the album:

“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. I thought it’d be fun to do a record like that, something different.”

The album rollout isn’t entirely without humor, though, as a press release offers the following sample headlines for publications to use:

“-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”

Press materials also cite Harry Nilsson, Steely Dan, Randy Newman, and Dire Straits as some of McKenzie’s influences.

Listen to “A Little Tune” above and find the Songs Without Jokes art and tracklist below.

Bret McKenzie Songs Without Jokes
Sub Pop

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

Songs Without Jokes is out 8/26 via Sub Pop. Pre-order it here.