Somewhere between Jonathan Coulton and The Beach Boys comes Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele and the Way Back Machine. Quirky is definitely a word that’s going to be attached to Dent May’s record, but that adjective is too generic and simple to capture this charming, complex, touching and sometimes profane album. Take “Love Song 2009.” In it, May promises to “love you for all time,” and begs his intended not to “break my heart come summer” because that would be a “bummer.” It’s a simple song, and bounces along merrily to the ukulele accompanying it, but in its simplicity one is reminded of all those fears, lying in bed during second semester with the girlfriend-of-the-semester, trading promises of forever more out of fear of loss than a true desire to share a future. Picture a tender, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” song about “staying in bed ‘til noon” that later reveals that “you came over in dressed in leather.” It’s the honest, funny surprising lyrics that keep me listening, but juxtaposing modern
sexuality against a 1950s vibe adds to the overall mood of the album.
Dent May’s album is pure genius. I don’t know if he can do more than make crisp, charming Beach Boy knock-offs, but even this is his whole schtick, it’s quite literally a perfect, flawless album.
For fans of: Jens Lekman, Frank Zappa, The Beach Boys, Of Montreal, Animal Collective.
PLUS: THE OUGHT-EIGHT SOCIAL REGISTRY LABEL MIXTAPE!
You can cop 2 neat mixtapes of Blood on the Wall, Gang Gang Dance, and Growing, with some rare tracks, gratis of the label, by right-clicking below: