When I wrote in July about Jack’s Mannequin’s upcoming new album People and Things, due for an October 4th release, I knew I was going to have plenty to enjoy about the new songs regardless of long long I’d have to wait to hear them. But the more I’ve learned about Andrew McMahon’s latest effort, the more I am convinced this is certain to become his magnum opus. I present for you his own trailer for the album, which describes in his own words the pain and power behind the material on People and Things. I’ve transcribed his words below. They say more than I could say about why this should be one of the most invigorating listens of the fall. [Any mistakes in the transcription of the video are my own. And all the links have been added by me, for those of you who want to explore deeper.]
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Seven years ago I started making music for a project I called Jack’s Mannequin. I was 22 years old. I wanted to tell a story. Up to that point the story was pretty interesting: My high school band had become teen idols. We toured and recorded constantly. Eventually things came apart. In my life, when things fall apart, things start coming together. I started over. I made a record about breaking up, week-long benders and pop music.
The next part was unexpected. I got sick. So sick that, six years later, it’s the one thing people talk to me about the most. People called me a lot of things after I got better – a fighter, a hero, an inspiration. I didn’t see it that way. I made a record about that. I hated that record for some time. It was a reminder of what sickness had taken from me: my youth.
I love that record now.
I thought about not making records after that. I thought about a lot of things. I started writing music; lots of music. I wanted to talk about the world I lived in. A world where love is not the stuff of greeting cards. An entrenched world, worth fighting for. A world of tenuous connections, drifting in and out of relevance. I travelled the country with these songs. I wrote some of them with dear friends. I began recording, but something was missing.
I started over.
I wrote more songs. I moved to the desert with my band and they learned to play them. We returned to LA, and with the help of some friends, we committed them, once and for all, to record.
I love this album for what it says and for what it took to get there. It may not be life or death, but it’s life. It’s my new record, and it’s called People and Things.