Amen Dunes announces first album in six years

Amen Dunes.


Photo via Michael Schmelling

Amen Dunes, the solo project of Damon McMahon, has confirmed details of a new studio album. Death Jokes will be released on May 10 via Sub Pop and is the first Amen Dunes album since 2018’s Freedom. A song from the new album, “Purple Land,” is streaming below.

“‘Purple Land’ is one of the album’s interstitial character portraits,” McMahon says in a statement. “First of a child, then the narrator, and then of an empowered figure as they all navigate and find liberation from the disconnection and disenchantment of an uncertain world. It begins first as a song to my daughter about life on earth, offering platitudes, warnings, and guidance through its various stages, until it becomes a reflection on the narrator’s own uncertainties as he moves through the world, ending finally with a character Rhea Anne who exemplifies liberation from it all in a moment of simple reckless freedom, as the beat drops in the final minute of the song.”

Press materials for Death Jokes note that the album has been in the making since 2019, though periods of ill health (including Covid) delayed the completion of the record. Jazz bassist Sam Wilkes guests on three songs while samples used in the songs include snippets of stand-up comedy, work by Type O Negative and Coil, chants recorded at a protest, and audio from an interview with the late J Dilla.

In addition to the new album, McMahon has also annouced a series of live shows in North America, the U.K. and Europe in May. He will perform in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn before making his way overseas for shows in France, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and England in July. Full details can be seen below.

Death Jokes artwork and tracklist

Amen Dunes announces first album in six years

1. Death Jokes

2. Ian

3. Joyrider

4. What I Want

5. Rugby Child

6. Boys

7. Exodus

8. Predator

9. Solo Tape

10. Purple Land

11. I Donʼt Mind

12. Mary Anne

13. Round the World

14. Poor Cops

Amen Dunes live dates

May 8 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
May 10 – Los Angeles, CA – The Bellwether
May 15 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
Jul. 1 – Paris, FR – Trabendo
Jul. 3 – Berlin, DE – Gretchen
Jul. 5 – Roskilde, DK – Roskilde Festival
Jul. 7 – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso
Jul. 9 – London, UK – KOKO