By JOHN DALY
Dean Wareham has released “The Past Is Our Plaything,” a lilting, melodic track and accompanying video from his upcoming album, I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of L.A.
The new track, “The Past Is Our Plaything,” which takes on a ’60s folk sensibility, was written following Wareham’s read of the book The Man In the Red Coat by Julian Barnes. The new album, I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of L.A. will release in October via Double Feature Records.
“‘The Past Is Our Plaything’ was recorded at a studio on Stinson Beach, just north of San Francisco, in November 2020,” Wareham said. “The song sorta grew out of observations by Julian Barnes in my favorite book last year — the Man In the Red Coat — about a collection of dandies, drug addicts, artists and writers in belle epoque France and England.”
Watch the video for ‘The Past Is Our Plaything’ here:
Wareham is one of the great creative souls in Los Angeles, having relocated from New York a while back. He released his solo album Dean Wareham in 2014, created a soundtrack — Mistress America — with wife, Britta Phillips, and continues to tour with his band Luna.
I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of L.A. marks the first collection of new songs Wareham has written in nearly seven years. Like any ex-New Yorker would admit, Wareham said the possible delay may come from the fact that “maybe it’s just too sunny in L.A.”
Wareham committed to a week of studio time that opened up in Stinson Beach, so he kicked it into high gear and got to work.
“The hard thing is just to start,” he said. “When I sat down and did it, the songs came pretty quickly.”
In addition to his own writings on the album, there are a couple of covers — “Under Skys” by Lazy Smoke and “Duchess” by Scott Walker. He teamed with producer Jason Quever (Beach House, Cass McCombs) and a tried and true duo of collaborators: Phillips on bass, vocals, and keys, and Roger Brogan on drums. Quever, an accomplished performer in his own right via his band Papercuts, also plays considerably on the album across a variety of instruments. The video for the new track was directed by L.A.-based Alexandra Cabral.
I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of L.A. is Wareham’s first singer/songwriter-style material in a long time, innovative like his 1980s group Galaxie 500, which helped establish indie rock.
“I feel like I really sang out more than I have in a while,” said Wareham, adding that it wasn’t all wine and roses in the studio setting. “We were all inundated in politics, all swimming in that.”
Pre-order I Have Nothing To Say To The Mayor Of L.A. here.
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