Today, MJ Lenderman – Asheville, NC’s effortlessly disarming singer-songwriter and guitarist of the band Wednesday – announces his signing to ANTI- and presents a new single/video, “Rudolph.”
“Rudolph” marks Lenderman’s first new music following the release of his breakthrough 2022 LP, Boat Songs, which was released to a wealth of praise and deemed one of the year’s best records by Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, NPR Music, Paste and many others. Lenderman comments, “‘Rudolph’ was the first song I wrote after the release of Boat Songs. I had been sitting on the guitar part for a long time and slowly worked out the song whenever I could in between tours in 2022. I finished the lyrics with my friend one late night after a Wednesday gig in Atlanta.”
“Rudolph waking up in the road / Dew dripping off his red nose / Blue and black tire track torn / Through a beautiful doe” repeats the chorus, highlighting Lenderman’s juxtaposition of the gentle and the extreme. “Rudolph” will be the A-side to a forthcoming 7-inch single, which can be pre-ordered now and will be out in the autumn.
Warped pedal steels and scuzzed out guitar; a voice reminiscent of the high-lonesome warble of a choirboy; the keen observations and reflections of a front stoop philosopher. MJ Lenderman’s songs snake their way from a lo-fi home recording to something glossier made with longtime friends at a hometown studio, but the recording setting doesn’t seem to matter much – at its core, a Lenderman song rings true. His music spans stories about everything from a relationship disintegrating outside the high-end butcher shop to a sighting of football star Dan Marino at the local Harris Teeter; from a love song built around a t-shirt kiosk at the airport, or the malaise of a grill rusting in the rain. And those are just some of the things you might find across his three solo records: MJ Lenderman (2019, Sub-Fi), Ghost of Your Guitar Solo (2021, Dear Life), and acclaimed studio debut, Boat Songs (2022, Dear Life).
Next week, Lenderman will embark on a tour Stateside bringing his “righteously ragged” (Under The Radar) live show to the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. Other stops include Nashville, Los Angeles, and a performance at Woodsist Festival.