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Barenaked Ladies' Tyler Stewart on Creating 'Magic' With the Persuasions for 'Ladies and Gentlemen' Album

3/13/2017 by Gary Graff

Matt Barnes
Barenaked Ladies

The sound of Barenaked Ladies' voices will be front and center next month, when Ladies and Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies and the Persuasions is released.

The 15-song set pairs the Canadian quartet and the veteran Brooklyn R&B troupe and was recorded during a live-off-the-floor session last October at Toronto's Noble Street Studios. BNL's Kevin Hearn met the Persuasions during a Lou Reed tribute show in New York, and the group joined BNL for a pair of songs during a Last Summer on Earth Tour stop back in the area.

"It went so well, and it was so fun to be around these incredible singers," drummer Tyler Stewart tells Billboard. "We just sat backstage around the picnic table and sang songs and told stories, and it was just a lovely afternoon. We decided after that show we'd like to work together again."

The Ladies and Gentlemen sessions, produced by regular BNL cohort Gavin Brown, features 14 BNL favorites -- including "One Week," "Sound of Your Voice," "The Old Apartment" and "Odds Are" -- as well as the Persuasions' 1971 hit "Good Times." The performances, along with interviews and candid behind-the-scenes footage, were filmed by Sessions X, which plans to begin releasing the content on March 22.

"For me personally, it was probably one of the top three musical experiences of my life, to just create that magic in the room, playing live and recording it," Stewart recalls. "We didn't really rehearse very much; we took a day to get to know the songs and rehearsed, and then there you go, boom, we had this amazing document, this really joyful, incredibly melodic and fun recording."

As Ladies and Gentleman comes out, BNL will be playing some live shows and working on finishing its next album, Fake Nudes, which is due this fall. Brown is producing the set, which Stewart describes as "a bit of a departure, in some respects, just sonically. It's just all a little bit different... we have a whole bunch of really interesting and diverse songs, and we hope it sticks together, because we haven't necessarily found a unifying cord other than it's the four of us making the music."

The album is available for pre-order via iTunes, and PledgeMusic is offering exclusive bundles featuring the music and merchandise.