Dent May will Do Things to you
Published: June 13, 2012
Born in Mississippi and now back to bloom where he was planted, Dent May’s aesthetics and attitude are carefree and colorful in a uniquely southern way. After ditching NYU film school, Dent headed back to Mississippi, where he recorded his first LP (the cheeky Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele) and founded the self-proclaimed “infotainment cult” Cats Purring. He went on to release his album on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks label and moved to his current home (a venue, general artistic space, and former Boys & Girls club), known as the Cats Purring Dude Ranch — which has become a regular stop for a diverse cross section of indie music’s finest.
May’s second album, Do Things (see CD review here), is sunny, sleek, funky, emotionally engaging, and utterly devoid of ukulele. Gone is the tongue-in-cheek cotton candy of the first album’s delivery, and in its place is a full-on adult contemporary sincerity.
“I’ve always loved pop songs that are superficially quite happy, but deep down there’s darkness,” he told the Current. “Joy is impossible without pain, and songwriting is how I deal with that dichotomy.” But what about the ukulele, where’s the ukulele? “Ultimately, if the ukulele is all you liked about me, we weren’t meant for each other.”
Lyrically, the new material is full of youthful desire for meaning and despondency about the prospects of working forever to simply sustain yourself. He gracefully toes a line between never wanting to “sing about meaningless shit” and trying not to get too philosophical, reminding us that “academia seems to say something simple in a very complicated way, while pop music says something complicated in a simple way.”
This tour and this album exist as a true embodiment of Dent’s stated philosophy of life: “One human is a tiny speck in the universe; why not go out of your way to do something different?”
Dent May feat. Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Trip the Light
Doors at 8:30pm Sun, June 17
107 E Martin
> Email James Courtney