Dent May – Do Things

Straight out of Taylor, Mississippi, Dent May is a singer-songwriter that bends and twists genres with his indie crooning voice, mid 80s electronic tracks covered with a chillwave flare, topped with a dreamy and textured falsetto that recalls the Beach Boys on an off day. Even further, May looks like a cross between a Goodbye Yellow Brick Road era Elton John and a less effeminate Truman Capote. But maybe it’s his choice in eyewear that makes one draw this observation.

Anyway, Dent is back with his second record, Do Things, just in time to soundtrack your summer cookouts and late night drinking parties. Dent has a charming ability to create varied and witty tracks that simultaneously sound familiar and unique, upbeat and somber, brief yet timeless.  On the opening track, “Rent Money,” Dent, in his best Brian Wilson impersonation, confides, “Don’t wanna be chasing that rent money for the rest of my life / Just need somebody to hold me at night.” It’s a sweet summer song to listen to at night, sitting on your bed with the windows open, contemplating your dead end day job.

Dent varies his compositions, keeping his singular, multi-layered voice from becoming too redundant; he knows when to slow the music down, drive the bass further, or add a looping synth track. “Tell Her” is a strong pop ballad that reads like an introduction to an early 80s television show. On “Best Friend,” Dent captures a disco-like beat to carry his witty lyrics that ruminate in reminiscence. The album ends with the first single, “Home Groan,” a confessional anthem about avoiding the temptation of moving to a big city. Dent dryly sings, “I don’t want to move to southern California / I wasn’t really meant for LA / And New York City just ain’t my style / so this town is where I guess I will stay.” I hear you, dude.

For someone who was born in 1985, May fantastically captures the synthesizer sounds that infected so many songs during the Reagan era, and he adds his own indie pop spin to bring a fresh and enduring approach to the table. Do Things plays like an unreleased Beach Boys album for people who drink wine coolers and smoke bunk weed; it’s a feel-good affair for those looking for something more compelling and cool to add to their record collection. Dent’s sophomore album is fun, friendly and guaranteed to shake away the summertime blues.

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June 11, 2012. Albums.

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