Stream the Nels Cline Singers’ New Album “Macroscope”



Nels Cline Singers 
NPR’s First Listen is streaming Macroscope,, the new album from the Nels Cline Singers, who play LPR on Thursday, May 1st.
“Nels Cline is a gateway drug in the best of ways,” writes NPR’s Bob Boilen. “He’s known as the guitar player for one of America’s best bands, Wilco. His crazy performances, filled with static shrieking and string bending, have led fans to the other side of music. It’s a style that interweaves jazz, progressive rock and noise.”
Meanwhile, Nels has been sharing his own thoughts on the album over on this Facebook page, where he’s posting daily descriptions of each Macroscope track leading up to the album’s release on April 29th. Here’s his take on the first four tracks:
On “Companion Piece”:
“Just Scott, Trevor, me. A ballad that I had in my head that gradually erupts into BIG ROCKOUT that in retrospect has an unintentional Rush flavor! Playing the HOT SHIT solo in the studio is so difficult for me… Should be a scorcher ‘live’.”

On “Canales’ Cabeza”:
“A groover in 6/4 dedicated to our wonderful friend and remarkable chef Paul Canales. Written in Scott’s house during our little residency at Paul’s Oakland eatery DUENDE, it’s a bit like some of my other tunes from days of yore but not. This is another one with just the trio and is saying ‘hello’ to Paul and to you all…”

On “Respira”:
“BREATHE! With Yuka C Honda, Cyro Baptista, Josh Jones all guesting, this uses the Zawinul/Ornette strategy of rubato melody/harmony floating over a solid groove. I actually do wordless vocals, a nod to my Brazilian heroes like Baden Powell and Hermeto Pascoal – humor me here, folks! But oddly, I was actually thinking about Caetano Veloso when I wrote this… The groove, involving a loop created by Scott’s electronic world, coalesces at the end with a mighty ostinato, Yuka’s electric piano drenched in Seek-Wah (google it) rising like celestial orbs… I play electric 12-string on this and several other tracks on this album if anyone cares.”
On “Red Before Orange”:
“Lounge-y! Smooth jazz! The Quintronics Drum Buddy (Google it) sets up a groove/progression that I wrote in the studio to entertain my wife and to potentially shock and/or dismay all the rock and free jazz people out there. Hah! It probably won’t work… This is also a sort of tribute to two guitar heroes: George Benson and Jimi Hendrix, which is pretty obvious once one hears this, I suppose. Yuka, Cyro, and Josh all return as potent and cherished guests. It is my not-so-secret hope that someone samples a part of this for a rap song someday…”
Stay tuned to Nels’ Facebook page for more track descriptions, give Macroscope a listen over at, and get your tickets for the Nels Cline Singers’ 5/1 show at LPR!
Photo credit: Mimi Chakarova
posted by John