Kurt Wagner will release a new Lambchop album, The Bible, on September 30 via Merge. This is the first Lambchop album that Wagner has not produced himself, instead heading to Minneapolis to work with Ryan Olsen (Poliça, Gayngs) and Andrew Broder, who had also helped shape 2021's Showtunes. “Ryan and Andrew, they’re like two sides of my personality,” Wagner says. “And if you put them together as a team, they represent me.”

Judging by first single "Police Dog Blues," The Bible represents another subtle pivot for Wagner, who has been taking Lambchop in bold new directions for the last decade. This song is methodical and funky, with soulful backing vocals and thick atmosphere. Says Kurt, "During the unrest surrounding the horrific injustice in Minneapolis in 2020, I had been re-listening to a song by Blind Blake, 'Police Dog Blues.' Of note, it was originally recorded in 1929, the year my father was born, and it seems John Peel played it on his show on Sept. 11, 1968. It was deceptively upbeat musically and not what I remembered at all. Then I remembered a police dog is a Shepherd."

The stunning video for "Police Dog Blues" was made by director Isaac Gale and created using the Unreal 3D graphics engine. Says Gale:

White privilege and apathy in the face of disastrous reality. I don’t think it’s stretching it to compare the police in Minneapolis—where myself and the producers of the record, Ryan Olson and Andrew Broder, all live—to a human-made catastrophic disaster.

We took the police dog from the song title literally and imagined a city, post cop-apocalypse, overrun by German Shepherds just kinda doing their thing. The process of directing this video for me was similar to watching a friend playing video games and chiming in with ideas that might help get them where they need to go. We needed to produce this in a virtual reality as opposed to live-action to achieve the most grotesque imagery possible from these ideas. Using 3D models and software made it possible to visualize the cold, horrible, detached-from-reality feeling that we wanted from the empty city and suburbs. Joe Midthun used Unreal Engine and Visions of Chaos to set up events like dogs just hanging around or a tidal wave of police flowing into a suburb, and we’d hope for happy accidents from the AI.

Watch the video below.


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