Aimee Mann’s seventh solo release to date, @#%&! Smilers, is a return to form after the artistic detours of 2005’s concept album The Forgotten Arm and 2006’s Christmas CD One More Drifter in the Snow.
Featuring thirteen new original songs, producer Paul Bryan describes the record as “deceptively powerful…very rich and grand sounding”. The songs range from the stripped-down-to-basics of “Columbus Avenue”, to the almost Cars-esque synth-pop of “Freeway”, along side the classic Jimmy Webb/Glen Campbell-era “Phoenix”, and the hushed creepiness of “Little Tornado.” The final song “Ballantines” is a duet with Sean Hayes complete with barroom piano and trombone section. All of the songs were penned by Mann, with the exception of “True Believer”, co-written with fellow singer-songwriter Grant Lee Phillips.
An amalgamation of sounds, Aimee explains “we tried not to echo any previous albums…for this one we wanted to use a different palate, thus replacing electric guitars with distorted Wurlitzers, Clavinets, and analog synthesizers. We made the low end and rhythm section full and organic-sounding, with Jay Bellrose’s quirky approach to percussion and my acoustic guitar together. For this album the acoustic guitar is present in a new way, one that melds with Jay’s rhythm section and acts as an adjunct to the high-hat. On top of that we layered detailed interwoven keyboards and on select songs added a lush string section; on others a full horn section.” The album was recorded in the latter part of 2007 at the Sound Factory studios in Los Angeles, engineered by Ryan Freeland and mastered by Gavin Lurssen.
After finishing off 2007 with her critically acclaimed sold-out Christmas tour, Aimee will return to the road in support of Smilers this Spring and Summer, including a stop at Bonnaroo. Look for upcoming appearances on NPR’s All Things Considered and the Ovation channel’s Live from the Artist’s Den performance series, amongst others.
Aimee Mann On Tour
June 2 Los Angeles, CA Largo
June 6 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
June 10 Los Angeles, CA Largo
June 12 Minneapolis, MN Minneapolis Zoo
June 13 Milwaukee WI Pabst Theater
June 15 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music Festival
July 9 Boulder, CO Chautauqua Auditorium
July 11 Denver, CO Denver Botanical Gardens
July 12 Park City, UT Deer Valley Resort
July 14 Saratoga, CA Mountain Winery
July 15 Rosebud, OR Stewart Park
July 16 Seattle, WA Seattle Zoo
July 24 Calgary, Alberta Calgary Music Festival