If you’re in the mood to pick up some good vibrations, Dent May is your man. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, May attended both NYU Film School and Ole Miss, studying English and Southern Studies. Fortunately, he finally found musical inspiration in the work of artists such as Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazelwood. Although he started his aptly named project, Dent May, in 2002, he held off releasing an album until 2009. But those seven years must certainly have been the necessary amount of time to nail down a style and image that could even make one of the Queen’s guards with those fuzzy hats and stoic faces smile. The first release came out on Paw Tracks, and was to be called The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele. Although it led to his title as one of the Best New Bands of Mississippi by Boston Phoenix Annual 50 Best Bands in America, and to his being chosen by Animal Collective to play at the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in 2011, The Good Feeling Music was only a precursor to the second and most recent release, Do Things.
Do Things is reminiscent of an electronic reincarnation of the Beach Boys born in the disco era. Not a song on this album speaks to anything but feeling good and living happily. A glance at the carefree image of lake relaxation which adorns the cover of the record, along with track titles such as “Fun”, “Best Friend”, “Don’t Wait Too Long”, and “Wedding Day”, set the mood for the rest of the album, and it doesn’t disappoint. Constant harmonies and melodies that flutter up and down octaves like a bird to whom flying is still a novelty create a light-hearted tone, combined with the two-step dance beats and heavy synth which add the “have fun, let loose” flavor. The icing on the cake is the inspirational lyricism, with lines like “Don’t wait too long, you’ve got to stand up and do your thing” and “Don’t know what’s in store for me but I think it’s gonna be fun” every word on every track is positive. Especially with a warm and bright summer gaining full speed, this album is quite worth the time investment for the smile it will put on your face.
Written by Alex Dziura, Radio K Volunteer