Andrew McMahon has been an important frontman in a number of bands – starting with the early 2000s punk of Something Corporate before moving on to Jack’s Mannequin – but has since put his own name on his music. He began using the new moniker, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, in summer 2014 ahead of the release of his eponymous first solo album, released that October. It launched the hit single, “Cecilia And The Satellite,” and ended with the single “High Dive” and a Record Store Day release of a 4-track acoustic EP.
In January 2016, only 15 months after Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness came out, Andrew announced he had already started working on the followup album. By then he’d written 4-5 solid songs and had a single picked out, and in between doing a Jack’s Mannequin 10-year reunion tour and a solo tour with Weezer and Panic! At The Disco, he dedicated his time to writing and recording. Andrew is still in the studio, and the new album is expected out this fall.
Starting the Album: 4-5 Songs & a Single Ready
On January 18, 2016, ETonline caught up with Andrew McMahon to talk about his 10 years as a cancer survivor and the Jack’s Mannequin reunion tour celebrating 10 years since their debut album, Everything In Transit. (The tour kicked off on January 20th.)
While discussing his 10 years since beating leukemia and releasing Everything In Transit, Andrew also talked about new music. He’d already started writing, and had plans to focus on that over the following few months after the Jack’s Mannequin tour:
I won’t know if [the album] is done until I’m done. I could be halfway through or I could be 10 percent through. There are four or five songs I’m really connected to that aren’t finished, but I feel like the heart and soul of them are there, so February, March, and April will be, in theory, a telling period of creative time.
Andrew also revealed that his team feels “like we have the first single off the next record, and we’re excited about it.”
With 4 or 5 songs and a single already set, it looked like we wouldn’t have to wait long for the next Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness record!
In the Studio: February – May 2016
I was lucky enough to round out my day in the studio with a hang at the legendary comedy cellar. In my opinion comedy is the most difficult live art form and comedians work harder, struggle more and make greater sacrifices than most performing artists. Thanks to my dear friend @roryalbanese for sharing his craft and a seat at the table with some of the most gifted modern comics. A night a won't soon forget.
Andrew Says Experimental New Album Will Be His Best Yet
On May 5th, EW published a new interview with Andrew McMahon. Of his upcoming second album, he told them, “I think this record’s going to be the best I’ve ever made.”
Andrew also talked about the new sound the album would have. He described the new songs as a “completely new evolution I haven’t done before.” As Andrew explained:
This sort of globalization of music and the way that genres have finally just like blended, it’s freed up so much space in the studio to just experiment with sounds that I think would’ve been taboo before,” McMahon said. “I was working on a track and was like ‘I want to hear a disco string that reminds me of ‘Billie Jean,’ and there was a time when I probably wouldn’t have been able to utter those words in a studio and get away with it… I think there’s a freedom in this process right now, and I’ve had so much time to write and work on songs for this record that we’ve really curated it down to this batch that link up and have a lot of heart, and I feel really good about them.
It’s always going to be centered around a voice and a piano. But I love this infusion of electronic music with organic elements, and the ability to have live drums and programmed drums and all these things interacting. You will have this blend of sounds that will be really unique to this record.
It sounds like the new music Andrew is making will be amazing! It will be exciting to finally get to hear it.
In the Studio: May 2016
On May 21st, Andrew was in the studio with Jimmy Robbins and Ivory Layne:
Andrew Performs New Song, “Fire Escape”
On Tuesday, June 7th, Andrew kicked off his new tour in Tucson, Arizona. Fans were in for a treat, because Andrew also decided to debut a brand new song! “Fire Escape” is a cheery, upbeat love song that will have you smiling and dancing along in no time. In the chorus Andrew sings, “You’re my number one, you’re the reason I’m still up at dawn just to see your face. We’ll be going strong with the vampires, baby. We belong, we belong.”
You can watch Andrew perform the new song in the fan-recorded video below. “Fire Escape” may be a brand new song, but the crowd was already loving it, clapping along to what could become Andrew’s next single. The live audio is great, and hopefully a studio version will be out later this year.
On June 9th, Cleveland.com published a short interview with Andrew which they had done a month earlier at National Concert Day in between recording sessions. Andrew kept his thoughts on his new album to a minimum: “It’s going to be my first New York album, which is kind of a cool thing. We’ll have sort of seeds of a new city planted throughout the lyrics on this record.”
On July 15th, a new collaboration between Lindsey Stirling and Andrew McMahon was released. The two had teamed up to write the song “Something Wild,” which appears in the upcoming Disney remake of the 1977 film, Pete’s Dragon. The film hits theaters on August 12th. Listen to “Something Wild” below:
As Lindsey explained in a Facebook video earlier that week, she was approached by Disney to compose a song for Pete’s Dragon. She and Andrew watched the film and then wrote “Something Wild” that same day. Disney ended up liking the song, and it will play over the ending credits of the movie.
“Something Wild” also appears on Lindsey’s new album, Brave Enough. It’s her third studio album, and will be released on August 19th. You can pre-order it on iTunes now and get an instant download of “Something Wild.” Alternately, you have the option to just buy the one song.
Andrew McMahon will be hitting the road with Weezer and Panic! At The Disco from June through August – be sure to get tickets from his official site. He is expected to finish recording this summer with the new album hopefully being released sometime this fall.