Lola Kirke will release a five song EP of country duets – Friends And Foes And Friends Again – on Downtown, September 13, 2019. Today’s announcement includes the first track taken from the record, the self-penned “Mama” – featuringKelly Zutrau – replete with music video directed by Lola’s older sister, Jemima Kirke. Jemima spoke of the video saying, “It’s a perversion of mine to want to see People in their private moments. I would’ve loved to have her be defecating on the toilet but decided ravenous eating was just as good, just as grotesquely human. This story is about a character of stature and prestige, whose life is all about appearances, engaging in an act that puts her on the level with everyone else.
And then, the relief (and the horror) that comes from that.”
In spite of being a New Yorker by way of London, Kirke has long felt a strong connection to country-rock sound and began writing songs of her own at an early age.
As an actor with a steadily ascending star (Gone Girl, Mistress America, Mozart in the Jungle) music has stayed constant, with her guitar following her from dressing room to dressing room. Her lauded debut LP Heart Head West (August, 2018- Downtown Recordings) asserted her as part of the artistic tradition she holds so dear: delivering her own heart, laid bare for someone else to hear as theirs. With this EP, Kirke digs deeper into her call towards country music, expressing herself through a tradition she has loved so much while updating just it a little.
First track “Mama” is a song about the sometimes painful complexities of a mother/daughter relationship. Lola’s older sister, Jemima Kirke, offered to direct the video, which they had originally intended to star their actual mother. When she politely declined, they aged Lola and created a mother figure all of their own. The song features Wet’s Kelly Zutrau, who Lola met during her time at the Almanack Arts Colony on Nantucket last summer. The music video was produced by MinusL, with Executive Producer Craig DiBiase.
With “Win It”, Lola set out to write the country song she hadn’t ever heard but so desperately wanted to—one that encouraged tenacity in favor of re-exploration of what you already have, instead of throwing it away and finding something new. Lola had also never heard a country love song between two women so she invited LilahLarson, of the band Sons Of An Illustrious Father, to join her.
“Shoulda Cheated” is a song “about soul sucking jealousy”. Co-written with Denver songwriter Brent Cowles – who she also met at the same artists colony in Nantucket – it came together in just one day and was demoed later that night withBill Reynolds (Band of Horses) and Austin Jenkins, who would go on to produce the whole record. The result is a song that strives to be an anthem for anyone suffering an unjustly jealous lover.
The final two songs on the EP are covers. Lola had away considered Commander Cody’s 1972 ballad, “Seed And Stems (Again)” about being heartbroken and not having any weed to be one of the world’s saddest songs. Originally this was set to be the lone solo number on the EP, but Lola wanted to find a place to hear Texas-based musician, songwriter and frequent Leon Bridges collaborator Austin Jenkins’s voice somewhere; he appears across the whole record on guitar, bass, piano “and basically every other non-percussive/instrument non-pedal steel instrument,” she says.
And finally, there’s “Cocaine”. While all the other songs were pre-tracked by Austin and his frequent collaborator Josh Block (who played drums and also engineered) this one came together quite quickly in the studio in Fort Worth. Lola’s best friend – and first ever bandmate – Audrey Turner joins her. In college they had a band called Dos Clementinas and had frequently covered the old blues song. In the studio with her old friend Lola says the whiskey increased her a sense of nostalgia. “I liked the idea of our 20 year old selves getting this gift from our present selves: “Here you go girls—a real live musical recording!” she laughs. “It makes me very happy. The whole record does.”
Lola and her band take to the road for a short run of shows, kicking off with a date in the place that first kindled this project, Nantucket, Massachusetts on August 16th. She’ll also stop by Nashville for Americana Fest before heading to Chicago for the312 Block Party with Jenny Lewis and Margo Price, then visits the East Coast for a run of shows that includes Toronto, New York City, DC and Philly. All dates below.
Tracklist for Friends And Foes And Friends Again:
“Mama” ft Kelly Zutrau
“Win It” ft Lilah Larson
“Shoulda Cheated” ft Brent Cowles
“Seed And Stems” ft Austin Jenkins
“Cocaine” ft Audrey Turner
Lola Kirke on Tour:
September 10 – Sep 14 – Nashville, TN @ Americanafest
September 16 – Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
September 17 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
September 18 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
September 19 – Madison, WI @ Der Rathskeller at UW Madison
September 20 – Chicago, IL @ Goose Island Block Party
September 22 – Toronto, ON @ The Monarch
September 24 – Portsmouth, NH @ The Press Room
September 25 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
September 26 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Rooftop
September 27 – Washington, D.C. @ DC9
September 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
December 13 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
December 14 – Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
December 15 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
December 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar
December 20 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet’s