Hear Mark Lanegan Band Go New Wave With New Song ‘Letter Never Sent’

The Mark Lanegan Band’s new single, “Letter Never Sent,” is a dusky, synth-laden New Wave number on which Lanegan sings about “painful reflection,” “sad introspection” and skulls in close proximity to tire irons. The melody and incessant drum machine makes it sound deceptively upbeat, and it all leads up to a mysterious chorus, “You could send me a letter, a letter never sent.” The song will appear on the group’s upcoming album, Somebody’s Knocking, due out October 18th.

The New Wavey vibe seems like a new direction for the former Screaming Trees frontman, who has also recorded with Queens of the Stone Age. But in a statement, Lanegan said it was something he had long wanted to do. “I’ve always been into electronic music since I was a kid,” he said. “I think the reason those elements have become more obvious in my music is that my tastes have changed as I’ve grown older. The bulk of what I listen to now is electronic. Alain Johannes and I had actually written ‘Penthouse High’ for [Lanegan’s last album] Gargoyle but then it didn’t really fit on that record. I have been a huge fan of New Order and Depeche Mode forever and have wanted to do a song along those lines for a long time — a blatantly catchy, old-school dance-type song.”

The group will spend the fall touring throughout Europe in support of the record, but this summer Lanegan will be enjoying a different kind of singing gig. This week through Thursday night, Lanegan will be the guest vocalist with Fred Armisen’s 8G band on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Other guests include members of Les Savvy Fav and Girls Against Boys and guitarist Marnie Stern.

Somebody’s Knocking Track List

1. “Disbelief Suspension”
2. “Letter Never Sent”
3. “Night Flight to Kabul”
4. “Dark Disco Jag”
5. “Gazing From the Shore”
6. “Stitch It Up”
7. “Playing Nero”
8. “Penthouse High”
9. “Paper Hat”
10. “Name and Number”
11. “War Horse”
12. “Radio Silence”
13. “She Loved You”
14. “Two Bells Ringing at Once”

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