Stephen Malkmus will release Face the Truth, his third album since splitting with Pavement, on May 24th. The album was recorded in Malkmus' Portland, Oregon, basement and mixed in a studio by Phil Ek (Built to Spill, the Shins).
Face the Truth finds the singer going at it solo . . . sort of. "I'm not really sure how to title it yet," he confesses when asked if this is a Stephen Malkmus album (like his self-titled 2001 debut) or a Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks album (like 2003's Pig Lib). "I wanted to go back to more of a bossy style: in my house and at my leisure. That being said, the drummer, John Moen, played on almost everything, and four of the songs are band efforts, so I don't really care if it says the Jicks. I want to be a team player."
Despite Face the Truth's semi-solo status, Malkmus promises a full-band sound. "The whole album's not very fussy, and some of the ends are loose," he says. "My voice is submerged into the music a bit, and it sounds more like an instrument."
And like Pig Lib, there are a few jam-based tunes, including the eight-minute epic "No More Shoes," complete with a sitar and flinty rock chords. Malkmus describes the track as "more rocking than a late-period Sonic Youth song."
The frontrunner for the first single is "Baby C'mon." "It's kind of dumb to have a title like that, but it doesn't sound like a football chant," Malkmus promises.
Unlike much of the past year's album titles, Face the Truth is not political, but quite accidental. "When we were on tour, I just had working titles for all the songs, and I wrote 'Face the Truth' for every one," Malkmus explains. "We thought that was really funny, and we were like, 'We gotta face the truth. We gotta play these songs.'"
As for the rumored title that popped up in Internet reports, Malkmus says it was just that. "It was never going to be Hamburger Serenade," he says with a laugh. "If we were going from pig to hamburger, with ground-up animals, we would probably get into some PETA [problems]."
"In the end it's happier," Malkmus says, summing up his new record, "and people are going to like it more . . . I can already tell."
Face the Truth track listing:
"Loud Cloud Crowd"
"No More Shoes"
"I've Hardly Been"