Jaboukie Talks with Vagabon on the Talkhouse Podcast

"You can't accidentally write a good joke; you can accidentally write a good song."

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of musicians with interesting backgrounds: one in computer engineering, the other in stand-up comedy. It’s Vagabon and Jaboukie.

Vagabon, aka New Yorker Laetitia Tamko, just released her third album under the name, and as you’ll hear in this chat, it had been four years since her last. But Sorry I Haven’t Called was worth the wait, and another cool stylistic leap. Tamko’s first album, Infinite Worlds, felt like a fresh take on indie-rock; her second, a self-titled record from 2019, dipped more into more varied electronic pop. But Sorry I Haven’t Called, which was partly produced by former Vampire Weekend guy Rostam, takes things even a step further, with an eye toward something even bigger and bolder. And even though the songs were inspired by a dark time in Tamko’s life, they turned out incredibly buoyant and upbeat. Check out “Lexicon” right here.

Jaboukie Young-White is best known as a stand-up comic, writer, and actor: You may have experienced his jokes on Big Mouth, or seen him as a correspondent on The Daily Show or acting in Only Murders in the Building. If you’re a fan of this podcast, you may have heard him in conversation with Jonathan Pierce of the Drums a couple years back. But in the past couple of years, Jaboukie has set his last name aside and worked hard on his debut album, which just came out. It’s called all who can’t hear must feel, and it’s an incredibly diverse set of songs that touches on a bunch of genres—rock, hyperpop, jungle—without sounding beholden to any one in particular. Jaboukie played almost every note of every instrument on the record, and as you’ll hear, he spent a lot of time getting it just right. Check out “Cranberry Sauce” right here.

In this chat, Jaboukie and Vagabon talk about how creating is like molting, about how music can feel more timeless than comedy, about “domming” your audience, and about how Janet Jackson is MOTHER. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Vagabon and Jaboukie for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform and check out all the goodness elsewhere on this site. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Photo Credit: left, Tiffany Champion; right, Ace Amir; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

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