Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You Can't Force A Dance Party

Now that I have been informed of the correct spelling of 'ukulele', what should land in my listening intray but Dent May And His Magnificent Ukulele.

Although on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label, the sound of Dent May is a world away from their uber-cool avant-noise pop. Dent's music is quite conservative, staid, even simplistic. He croons sugary-sweet over simple instrumentation - said ukulele often playing against another instrument (tuba on 'Oh Paris!', pedal steel guitar on 'Howard'). Similar in some ways to Jens Lekman or Stephin Merritt (both ukulele players) but without the lyrical dexterity of either or the lush swoon of the former.

The overall feel is of early 70s easy listening combined with Jonathan Richman at his most winsome and gauche, playing the lonely outsider (listen to 'Girls on the Square'). In my first couple of listens I find myself alternating between being totally won over or wincing at the tweeness. Or thinking the whole thing is a camp wind-up.

It will be interesting what prolonged listening will do. Or how he comes across live. Dent plays Trof in the Northern Quarter on 1 April (presumbably with his Magnificent Ukulele but it is not actually credited). Support from Sparky Deathcap and Jam on Bread - tickets here. Other tour dates here.

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele
The Good Feeling Music of ... [BUY]

1 comment:

High Priestess of Punk-chew-ation said...

The lyrical dexterity of Jens Lekman makes me want to shake hands with the whole of Sweden.