Bret McKenzie is taking a pause from his comedy group Flight of the Conchords and swooping towards his first-ever solo album Songs Without Jokes this summer. Before the LP is released on August 26th via Sub Pop, the New Zealand musician has shared another sample of it today with the new single “Dave’s Place.”
Like most of his songs, McKenzie originally wrote “Dave’s Place” on his guitar at home. What began as a simple country tune eventually grew into a “Dire Straits-esque” blues-rock jam after bringing it to the studio with producer Mickey Petralia in Los Angeles. Despite the song’s peppy, sunshiney flair, the meaning of its lyrics is much more bittersweet.
“The song is called ‘Dave’s Place’ after the late Dave Bianco,” McKenzie explains in a press release. “Dave was an amazing audio engineer I worked with on various occasions in L.A., but he sadly passed away not long before I started making this record. Dave had a studio in the North Hollywood he referred to as ‘Dave’s place’. After he passed I finally worked there and this is the track that came out of that session. I sometimes think Dave is watching over this one.”
The track’s lyrics are a fitting ode to a late friend: “You go dancin’ in the sky/ Dave, you enjoy that view,” McKenzie sings over bold piano chords. Listen to “Dave’s Place” below.
“Dave’s Place” follows Songs Without Jokes‘ lead single “A Little Tune.” McKenzie’s last release with Flight of the Conchords was their 2019 Live in London album, and he also recently had the honor of pissing off Morrissey by writing a parody Smiths song for The Simpsons.
He’ll be supporting Songs Without Jokes on tour later this year, which you can get tickets for at Ticketmaster.