Photo by Mindy Tucker
Ted Leo celebrates the release of his new solo album, The Hanged Man, today. Apple Music and Spotify users can hear it in full down below.
Self-released and funded through Kickstarter, The Hanged Man marks the singer-songwriter’s 13th studio effort overall. It follows 2010’s The Brutalist Bricks, but is technically Leo’s first album under his own name.
Spanning 14 tracks, the LP was recorded at a home studio in Wakefield, Rhode Island. With the power pop songwriter manning almost all the instruments, it features “familiar sharp bursts of skinny-tie pop-punk — and even these feel streamlined like never before — but they’re offset with an adventurousness in both tone and structure,” according to a press release.
Leo described the time spent working on the record as one of “personal desolation that felt fallow but was actually very fertile.” He elaborated further on his Kickstarter page:
“I probably had enough songs to complete an album a good five years ago, but a number of things – personal and financial – prevented me from doing it. And though it’s always been a constant source of low-level anxiety that so much time continues to pass by, I’ve also come to see that time as a boon. When I missed that first hurdle, that first deadline to PRODUCE SOMETHING, the world didn’t end. Time kept moving, and all of the expectations that I had for MYSELF morphed into a more compassionate and contemplative group of feelings that were more about incubating, honing, experimenting, learning, and rebuilding a certain amount of confidence that I think I’d lost in my stymied relationship with the cycles of releases and promotion and needing support (not just financial) from the label I was working for; and so I started to actually just allow myself that time. It hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve grown and changed some over the long course of working on this. But having the eventual freedom to work on it at my own pace, and in my own space, has allowed this body of songs to change and grow with me. And now we find ourselves in a new political reality, and I find myself compelled to keep writing. We’re close enough, though, that I feel like I can set the stage to finally offer this work to you.”
Although The Hanged Man is the first-ever LP credited solely to Leo, he didn’t go it entirely alone. Chris Wilson of the Pharmacists played drums throughout and longtime collaborator Aimee Mann (whom Leo plays with in The Both) contributed her talents; Jean Grae and Jonathan Coulton also make appearances.
The Hanged Man Artwork:
The Hanged Man Tracklist:
01. Moon Out of Phase
02. Used to Believe
03. Can’t Go Back
04. The Future
05. William Weld in the 21st Century
06. The Nazerene
07. Run to the City
08. Gray Havens
09. Make Me Feel Loved
10. The Little Smug Supper Club
11. Anthems of None
12. You’re Like Me
13. Lonsdale Avenue
14. Let’s Stay on the Moon