With the release of “Xian Man” last month, Stephen Malkmus announced his third album in three years. Whereas 2018’s Jicks effort Sparkle Hard presented something close to the classic indie rock sound Malkmus made his name on and 2019’s Groove Denied was an electronically inclined solo endeavor, this year’s Traditional Techniques finds the once and future Pavement frontman teaming with the Decemberists’ Chris Funk and guitar journeyman Matt Sweeney in pursuit of a rootsy sound.
Malkmus has since debuted another track, “Brainwashed,” in a live performance video. And today, ahead of the album’s release next week, we get another proper single. For the “Shadowbanned” video, Malkmus recruited pals including Mac DeMarco, Jason Schwartzman, Kim Gordon, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Conor Oberst, Mary Lattimore, Matt Korvette, and others to appear onscreen beneath a cartoon version of Malkmus’ face. (It’s now available as an Instagram filter called Becoming Stephen Malkmus.) Also in the mix are old Malkmus and Pavement videos in which has face has been blurred and pixelated.
According to director Jan Lankisch, “the video was inspired by reading about female singers and musicians who were photoshopped from their album covers by an Iranian music streaming site… Identity is a matter of design. People like to play with characters and pretend to be someone else.” Watch below.
Here’s the full list of guests in the video:
Sharon Van Etten
Traditional Techniques is out 3/6 on Matador.