Bret McKenzie, his piano, a microphone and a 10-piece band will make a stop in Whanganui in September.
The musician and comedian, famous for his work as one half of Flight of the Conchords, will be promoting his debut solo album, which contains no comedy songs at all.
The album and eight-date tour is called Songs Without Jokes.
McKenzie said post-Conchords, he had been working on songs for The Muppets films.
"During a session I had the thought that it would be fun some day to work on some songs that weren't for someone else, that doesn't have to tell a story or be funny or continue the narrative plot, checking all the boxes for the character in the movie.
"I thought it'd be fun to do a record like that, something different. It started as kind of a side project; it's not like I'm trying to start a massive solo career or change the world with music."
Songs Without Jokes was written in 2019 between Los Angeles and Wellington.
McKenzie said he was inspired by the path of the "Harry Nilssons, the Randy Newmans, and Steely Dans of the world".
The guitarist from Steely Dan was one of the session musicians who took part in the recording sessions.
"I'm becoming way more comfortable in my own skin with songs that are a bit more personal," McKenzie said.
"At first, I felt a little naked singing a song about how I'm not sure what to do with my life— compared to writing for f*****g Kermit the Frog — but I'm getting more comfortable now with the heartfelt."
While he loved comedy songs, he didn't put a comedy record on when he was hanging out, McKenzie said.
"I don't drive around listening to standup, I listen to regular music.
"It feels right to finally make a record of music I might want to listen to."
Bret McKenzie and his band play at the Royal Whanganui Opera House on Monday, September 12.