Mike Doughty
Deborah Lopez

Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty is back with a brand new album that’s a sharp left turn from anything he’s released lately. It’s fan-funded, heavily influenced by alternative hip-hop, and led by a track with a killer banjo riff.

Check out the premiere of new song “Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future” below:

"The title of ‘Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future’ is a headline from a newspaper that I saw a guy reading across from me on the subway,” Doughty explains.  “Good Goose, my producer, and I put the song together around a banjo part that I improvised. He just happened to have a banjo in the studio, which is weird, considering he's a hip-hop guy. He looped it, put it over a beat, and I sang fragments and phrases from my notebook.”

The new track is the first song on Doughty’s upcoming album Stellar Motel, due Sept. 16 via Snack Bar/Megaforce Records. Doughty’s insanely dedicated fan base has been watching the project for a while. It was funded entirely via PledgeMusic, which allowed supporters to watch Doughty and producer Good Goose write and record the music.

Mike Doughty, 'The Idiot Kings': Exclusive Song Premiere

“I think what's interesting about Stellar Motel is the amount of guests on it, particularly all the rappers,” Doughty says. “I knew the ladies of Hand Job Academy, they introduced me to Big Dipper, and he introduced me to Jay Boogie. One thing I find particularly interesting in New York music these days is the queer hip-hop scene. There are a tremendous amount of amazing young gay lyricists. It's a real, vital underground.”

Aside from Hand Job Academy, Big Dipper, Jay Boogie, and Miss Eaves, the album also features contributions from MC Frontalot, Kim from the Japanese band Uhnellys, country singer Laura Lee Bishop, cellist Andrew "Scrap" Livingston, and Brooklyn saxophone-and-drums band Moon Hooch, whom Doughty first encountered playing on New York’s Union Square subway platform.

Doughty will promote the new album via a lengthy North American tour, beginning Sept. 6. Those dates, along with the track listing from Stellar Motel, are listed below.

Here is the track listing from Stellar Motel:

1. Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future
2. When the Night Is Long
3. Oh My God Yeah Fuck It (feat. Moon Hooch and Miss Eaves)
4. Raging On
5. Let Me Lie (feat. Big Dipper)
6. These Are Your Friends
7. Let's Go To The Motherfucking Movies
8. The Champion (feat. MC Frontalot)
9. Pretty Wild (feat. Ash Wednesday, Clara Bizna$$, and Uncle Meg from
Hand Job Academy)
10. When You Come Home
11. 走馬灯 (feat. Kim from Uhnellys) *
12. This Is Change
13. To See the Sun Come Down (feat. Jay Boogie)
14. The Brightness
15. In The Rising Sun (feat. Laura Lee Bishop)
16. Better Days Come Around

* 走馬灯 is pronounced "somato" and means "a revolving lantern"

And here are Doughty’s upcoming tour dates:

Sept. 6: Zumbrota, MN (State Theatre)
Sept. 7: Moorhead, MN (Roots on the Red Festival)
Sept. 9: Boise, ID (Record Exchange in-store performance)
Sept. 10: Portland, OR (Mississippi Studios)
Sept. 12: Portland, OR (XOXO Festival at The Redd)
Sept. 13: Cottage Grove, OR (Axe & Fiddle)
Sept. 16: San Francisco, CA (Amoeba Records in-store performance)
Oct. 8: St. Louis, MO (Duck Room at Blueberry Hill)
Oct. 9: Emporia, KS (Brickyard Bar)
Oct. 10: Denver, CO (Walnut Room) (2 shows)
Oct. 11: Salt Lake City, UT (Kilby Court)
Oct. 12: Boise, ID (Neurolux)
Oct. 14: Vancouver, British Columbia (Biltmore Cabaret)
Oct. 15: Seattle, WA (Triple Door)
Oct. 17: San Francisco, CA (The Chapel)
Oct. 18: Los Angeles, CA (The Mint)
Oct. 19: Las Vegas, NV (Bunkhouse Saloon)
Oct. 20: Phoenix, AZ (Musical Instrument Museum)
Oct. 22: Austin, TX (Cactus Cafe)
Oct. 23: Dallas, TX (Lola’s)
Oct. 25: New Orleans, LA (Gasa Gasa)
Oct. 26: Pensacola, FL (The Handlebar)
Oct. 28: Tampa, FL (Crowbar)
Oct. 29: St. Augustine, FL (The Original Cafe Eleven)
Oct. 30: Atlanta, GA (Eddie's Attic) (2 shows)
Nov. 1: Nashville, TN (City Winery)
Nov. 12: Providence, RI (Columbus Theatre)
Nov. 13: Portland, ME (One Longfellow Square)
Nov. 14: Burlington, VT (Higher Ground)
Nov. 15: Rochester, NY (Water Street Music Hall)
Nov. 16: Cleveland, OH (Music Box Supper Club)
Nov. 18: Columbus, OH (Rumba Cafe)
Nov. 19: Ann Arbor, MI (The Ark)
Nov. 20: Chicago, IL (City Winery)
Nov. 21: Milwaukee, WI  (Shank Hall)
Nov. 22: Minneapolis, MN (Dakota Jazz Club) (2 shows)
Nov. 24: Pittsburgh, PA  (Club Cafe)
Nov. 25: Washington, DC  (Jammin' Java)
Nov. 26: Philadelphia, PA (Tin Angel)
Nov. 28: Boston, MA (Johnny D’s)
Nov. 29: New York, NY (City Winery)
Dec. 6: Woodstock, NY (Bearsville Theatre)