After releasing a pair of children’s albums in 2008 and 2009, They Might Be Giants changed their focus back to music for grown-ups on Join Us in 2011, a direction they will continue next year with the new release Nanobots. John Flansburgh, one of the two Johns in the band, is ready with a bold prediction about the new LP. “While it will be released early in the year, I think it is safe to say there is more bass clarinet on this album than any other rock album of 2013,” he tells Rolling Stone.
The group offers a taste of the new songs with the characteristically quirky “Call You Mom,” on which the alt-rockers declare, “I think I’d like to call you mom / Because you remind me of my mom,” over a slithery rockabilly lick and carefree drum fills. There’s a tinge of sadness, as the duo sings, “I turn around to find that you are gone / Which was exactly like my mom.” But there’s a strange taste when they mention going out with someone who looks just like mom.
The song is one of more than two dozen on the album, which Flansburgh hastens to explain. “There are 25 tracks in about 45 minutes, which sounds like we might need a refill on some Ritalin, but those 25-second songs really offset the longer ones,” he says.
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Nanobots is due March 5 on Idlewild Recordings.