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Stephen Malkmus Goes Folk on New Song “Xian Man” From Upcoming Album Traditional Techniques

Stephen Malkmus has announced a new album titled Traditional Techniques and released the lead single, “Xian Man.” The song centers the Pavement frontman’s acoustic guitar, embellished with handclaps and distorted twang. A press release describes what’s happening here as “new phase folk music for new phase folks.”

Malkmus recorded the album, his first since 2019’s sometimes-electronic Groove Denied, at Portland’s Halfling Studio, with engineering and arranging from the Decembrists’ Chris Funk. The studio apparently has an indoor skate park, and “[Malkmus’] kids dug the skate bowls,” Funk said in an interview with Vortex.

Traditional Techniques will be released on March 6 via Matador. Malkmus is touring behind the album in March and April, backed by a band that will include players on pedal steel guitar, rabab, kaval, daf, and uda. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 24.

Listen to “Xian Man” and view Malkmus’ full tour schedule below.

Stephen Malkmus 2020 Tour Dates

Tue. March 31 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave
Wed. April 1 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
Thu. April 2 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Fri. April 3 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners
Sat. April 4 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
Sun. April 5 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Tue. April 7 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
Wed. April 8 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Thu. April 9 – Richmond, VA @ The National
Fri. April 10 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Sat. April 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Mon. April 13 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Wed. April 15 – Boston, MA @ Royale
Thu. April 16 – Montreal, QC @ L’Astral
Fri. April 17 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
Sat. April 18 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
Sun. April 19 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall