Prolific post-punk/emo-pop pioneer and thinking man’s piano-pop songwriter Andrew McMahon (the Bruce Springsteen of the piano, if you will) just released People And Things, his third album as Jack’s Mannequin.
“My last record, The Glass Passenger, was a pretty heavy record as far as the content. Life and death stuff,” he explained when he stopped by MTV to perform a stripped-down version of “Release Me” for “Buzzworthy Live,” Buzzworthy’s intimate in-house performance series.
“With this record, I realized there was a lot of stuff I’d overlooked during the last album. I got married — I’ve been married five years now — and a lot of this record ended up being about that experience of those first few years and acclimating into a house with two people when you’re used to being a satellite and doing your own thing. It’s about figuring out a relationship that’s that deep and that constant.”
If The Glass Passenger was about his anxiety, acceptance and fearlessness in the face of his acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis, treatment and recovery, People And Things, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Albums Chart, is the Jack’s Mannequin album about growing up, settling down, reflecting back and moving ahead, which is particularly evident on “Release Me.”
“‘Release Me” was the last song I wrote for People And Things. It’s very much about my experience doing what I do for a living and how long I’ve been doing it. You get to these moments at the end of records where you want them to come out already, you want people to hear it… it’s about the place I was in my life when I was wrapping the album up and feeling a little exhausted.”
In his “Buzzworthy Live” version of “Release Me” — yes, Something Corporate/Jack’s and “Twilight” fans, Andrew’s just as kind in person as you’ve always heard — he transforms the sunny yet deceptively dark song into a charmingly lo-fi take on professional and personal pressure, replete with his cautiously sanguine outlook on what the future holds.
+ Watch Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin’s “Buzzworthy Live” performance of “Release Me.”