Los Angeles singer-songwriter Lawrence Rothman has teamed up with Lucinda Williams for a new song, “Decent Man.” The track will be featured on Rothman’s upcoming sophomore album, out January 29th, 2021, via KRO Records.
Over a video of giant decaying busts of the U.S. presidents, Rothman and Williams sing of a country in despair and ruin. “The New York Times says the country’s gone up for sale,” Rothman muses, while Williams observes on the chorus, “We’re just a lifeless empty Midwest mall, the aftermath of a hot head playing god.”
Rothman, who identifies as gender-fluid, will be releasing their album in two parts. The first half, Good Morning, America, is a nine-track LP that features “Decent Man,” as well as collaborations with Marissa Nadler, Mary Lattimore, Girlpool, Pino Palladino, and more. The second half, Not a Son, is a nine-track spoken word album, backed by atmospheric instrumentals from members of Thundercat’s band.
On the inspiration behind the album, Rothman says, “Politicians on the right here in the U.S. are more so than ever using religion and faith to manipulate and control our free will, pulling us decades backward on abortion rights and equality. The old guard must be dismantled. Choosing to be neutral or apolitical at this very moment is a dire mistake. The lifeline of our country is at stake along with our own personal livelihood. To belabor the obvious, the current administration from top to bottom is the furthest from being decent men.”
They continue: “My daughter, around the time of the George Floyd killing, asked me one night, ‘Are there any decent men left?’ Society’s ills were ever more present to her as our home became the classroom and her social world of school and friends went on pause. I witnessed this young person transform from being a kid inside the bubble of the pre-teen ‘daydream’ to subscribing to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, getting active with social justice online and on the street. She inspired me to sit at my kitchen table and write a record that explored the horrifying current American epoch and how old values and traditions have misshaped many of us.”
Rothman adds that “Decent Man” was the first song written for the album, with the rest of the tracks completed within two weeks.
“Lucinda Williams’ voice and song have been a constant companion for me during my life’s ups and downs,” they say. “Her albums have been my family’s soundtrack during these last six months. When I wrote ‘Decent Man,’ I saw myself on stage trading verses with Lucinda, and it’s a great honor to have her accompany me on this song.”