Chris Thile Announces New Album ‘Laysongs’ & Shares Opening Track

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Chris Thile goes completely solo for Laysongs, a new album due out through Nonesuch Records on June 4. The mandolinist, singer and songwriter previewed the record by releasing its opening track, “Laysong,” along with an accompanying video.

Laysongs features just Chris, his vocals and mandolin playing. Thile recorded the album during the pandemic at a converted upstate New York church. Chris Thile was inspired to create the LP after a conversation with Nonesuch’s Chairman Emeritus Bob Hurwitz. “You should do a God-themed record of some kind, it’s all over your work,” Hurwitz told Thile who grew up in a Christian household. “It is a lifelong obsession of mine, even post-Christianity, what the impact of that kind of devotion to any organized religion is,” Chris explained.

Chris’ wife, Claire Coffee, co-produced Laysongs. “She has incredible taste and narrative intuition. She was able to help me weave the original and non-original material together,” the mandolinist and former host of Live From Here noted. The Thile family spent last summer in Hudson, New York and came upon Future-Past, a recording studio within an old church. “I went in there to look at the space and instantly felt so at home,” Thile added. “I loved the amount of sound around the sound. I had two sonic collaborators on this record: the tremendous engineer Jody Elff and that church.”

Laysongs consists of six originals and three covers, “all of which contextualize and banter with his ideas about spirituality,” noted press materials announcing the album. Included within is “Salt (in the Wounds) of the Earth,” a three-part suite inspired by C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.

Watch Chris Thile’s “Laysong” video below:

Laysongs Tracklist

  1. Laysong
  2. Ecclesiastes 2:24
  3. God Is Alive Magic Is Afoot
  4. Salt (in the Wounds) of the Earth, Part 1
  5. Salt (in the Wounds) of the Earth, Part 2
  6. Salt (in the Wounds) of the Earth, Part 3
  7. Sonata for Solo Violin, Sz. 117: IV. Presto
  8. Dionysus
  9. Won’t You Come and Sing for Me

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