Dent May writes, performs, and produces homemade pop music from his home base in Mississippi. A stylistic chameleon, Dent's recordings echo folk, disco, R&B, psychedelia, country-western, soul, and funk sounds of the past, present, and future. Increasingly, his songwriting has taken a turn toward existential classicism, channeling the tuneful longings of Harry Nilsson and Brian Wilson at their dreamiest.
Dent grew up performing in school plays and church choirs in Jackson, Mississippi, where he began writing songs and putting bands together by age 13. After dropping out of NYU film school, he moved back to Oxford, Mississippi. There he met Animal Collective while they were recording Merriweather Post Pavilion, and he's been releasing music on their Paw Tracks imprint since 2009.
Dent recorded his third and latest album Warm Blanket alone in a rented Victorian home in St. Augustine, Florida during February of 2013. In contrast to the relentless optimism and upbeat thump of his previous LP Do Things, the new record is Dent's most emotionally and musically diverse collection yet. Warm Blanket presents melancholy balladry alongside funky psych-pop with adventurous arrangements showcasing horns, strings, and bubbling analog synths.
Alongside the release of Warm Blanket in late summer of 2013, Dent will be touring the world with the latest incarnation of his live band, a revolving cast of musicians recruited from the ranks of Cats Purring, the self-proclaimed "North Mississippi Infotainment Cult." He currently lives at their headquarters, the sprawling Cats Purring Dude Ranch, where infamous DIY shows take place and where Dent is already hard at work writing his next album.
"May's aesthetic has shifted to breezy, blushing pop music that could easily be smuggled into any Ole Miss keg party in his native Oxford, but "Born Too Late", the first single from his upcoming LP Warm Blanket, establishes a deeper connection with [Brian] Wilson's infamously hermetic tendencies." - Pitchfork
"“Born Too Late” is the swirling first single from Warm Blanket, and between the catwalk-y, two-chord piano riff, the BeeGees-throwback vocal melody, and the violin-driven nod to James Bonds theme song “You Only Live Twice,” it’s got hooks for miles." - The FADER
"As May sings about his frustrations with age limitations and expectations, structured piano chords and hand claps ensure that you can keep dancing, even through his misfortune." - Paste
"The end result is a little bit 2013 frivolity, a little bit 1967
earnestness, and a whole lot of infectious fun." - Consequence of Sound
"Listening to Warm Blanket, it’s evident that Dent’s lounge-friendly voice is still his best weapon. Thanks to his strong grasp of melody, the songs’ catchy, well-laced harmonies help to accentuate and elevate his set of pipes." – FILTER
Dent May "Born Too Late"
The Mattson 2
Given the state of modern music and its fabricated pop icons, what Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 achieves is a collective music victory in a new era of progressive soundscapes. World-renowned composer/producer extraordinaire Chaz Bundick (Toro Y Moi, Les Sins) has teamed up with the psychedelic-jazz grooves of The Mattson 2 for an album that unifies a trio’s creativity into a refreshing project of unhinged sonic originality.
Oddly enough, this collaboration may not have happened if The Mattson 2 hadn’t forgotten a drum throne at an Oakland performance in 2014. The twin’s longtime friend and photographer, Andrew Paynter, came to the rescue and called his friend Chaz to ask about borrowing the throne. Jonathan, the Mattson drummer (who’d also never met Chaz), accompanied Andrew to Chaz’s home in Berkeley where they were greeted by Chaz with a warm smile, a drum stool in hand, and Michael, Chaz’s dog (which his Les Sins record Michael is named after).
The next day Andrew and the twins met Chaz at a cafe in Berkeley to return the gear. Over coffee they waxed about music, design, furniture, and skateboarding. After a series of hangs with Chaz in the Bay Area, the crew decided to join forces and schedule studio time for their newfound trio. And the rest, as they say, is intergalactic, mega-creative history.
In February of 2016 the relationship was officially christened the night they finished tracking their new record. And to tie the knot with flare, they scheduled a secret show at the Battery and a historical public show at the Starline Social Club in Oakland, where the trio performed all new music from the project for the first time live.
The group and the album, Chaz Bundick Meets Mattson 2, explores psychedelic, jazz, and improvisatory influences ranging from Afrofuturistic Sun Ra, to electric Miles Davis, to groove-fueled Serge Gainsbourg and The Zombies. Grounding the album are break-beats, synthesizers, acoustic strums, and guitar fuzz reminiscent of David Axelrod and Arthur Verocai. With cosmic structures, timeless influences, rich harmonies, and melodic interplays, the trio brings an intergalactic edge to both their live shows and an album worthy of repeated visits.
Memory Tapes is the project of musician Dayve Hawk. Growing up in New Jersey, Hawk retreated into his obsession for music at an early age. He began playing drums at the age of nine, but was inspired by his makeshift vinyl collection of the Beatles and David Bowie to begin writing songs, recording homespun guitar tunes on a toy karaoke machine. Over the next decade, he recorded hundreds of tracks alone in his parents’ basement - never going to shows, never playing in bands and rarely sharing the demos. After years of building synthesizers and recording tracks at home, while working the overnight shift at a grocery, store Hawk was convinced by fellow coworker Matt Maraldo to form the Philadelphia-based dance-punk act Hail Social in 2005. The band released two well-received albums and embarked on international tours, giving Hawk an exposure to youth culture and an expansive music scene he hadn’t experienced outside of his insular home recordings.
When the band broke up, Hawk moved back to rural New Jersey. With a newfound interest to share his music with a larger audience, he started a blog to post his new tracks, recorded under the trio of aliases Memory Cassette, Weird Tapes and Memory Tapes. The hazy electronic tracks began to circulate around the internet, as well as his buzzed-about remixes for songs by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peter Bjorn & John and Britney Spears.
After releasing a Memory Cassette EP, Hawk officially adopted the Memory Tapes moniker and released his debut LP, Seek Magic, in September 2009. With the Memory Tapes project, Hawk fleshed out his vision of experimental electronic music based on field recordings, and Seek Magic was greeted with praise from critics, landing at #23 on Pitchfork’s top albums of 2009. In 2011, Hawk followed Seek Magic’s success with his second full-length Player Piano, a record that adopted a fuller band sound in its Motown inspired treatment. Memory Tapes also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Short Form Music Video for the Player Piano single “Yes I Know.”
“…a record of achingly gorgeous dance-pop that captures both the joy of nostalgia and the melancholic sense that we're grasping for good times increasingly out of reach.” – Pitchfork
“…the debut from Memory Tapes is a rare album of delightfully addictive pop, positioned on the difficult-cum-enviable dividing line between the indie underground and mainstream recognition.” – BBC
“But the general sense of Proustian nostalgia - and I also hear the shimmering radiance of the Cocteau Twins, the heat-haze dance-pop of Saint Etienne - is something I imagine will work for almost everyone, evoking different, half-remembered songs from their past; ones they heard, ones they wrote, or ones they maybe just imagined.” – The Quietus
“Memory Tapes oozes the crossover charm of Broken Bells or The Postal Service The infectious ‘Sunhits’ revisits the New Order beats of 2009 debut album Seek Magic, and Player Piano finally opens both barrels on ‘Trance Sisters.’” – NME
“During the chillwave boom of the late 2000s, New Jersey’s Dayve Hawk and his group Memory Tapes moved toward the forefront of that burgeoning sub-genre by blending blissful synth-pop hooks with lo-fi laptop ambience.” – The AV Club
Skylar Spence is the continuation of Ryan DeRobertis’ Saint Pepsi project, which he started in late 2012. In the years since, he’s released a number of sample-y long-players full of slo-mo funk and boogie, and he rose to prominence as one of the more distinct voices associated with vaporwave corners of the Internet.
Growing up listening to the likes of Duran Duran and Chic, 22-year-old DeRobertis had plenty of inspiration when he started Saint Pepsi as an Ableton exercise. And though he began writing music at age 13, he hadn’t tried writing his own song in the style of his favorite music until “Fall Harder,” which appears on Skylar Spence’s full-length debut, Prom King. After strengthening his skills as a producer with the Hit Vibes album, he began incorporating his own instruments and production flourishes into his work, first with the Gin City EP. Prom King distills DeRobertis’ sampling style into an idiosyncratic melody machine, introduced his own vocals to the mix, and adopted tighter disco and new wave song structures. It’s “pop music for freaks,” as DeRobertis has it—outlandish aesthetics filtered through his deft intuition.
"a big, bright blast of good vibes" - Stereogum
"blindingly catchy" - The Fader
"offbeat bubblegum" - Interview Magazine
"impossible not to at least tap your foot to the rhythm" - Mass Appeal
"the sonic embodiment of skipping down a neighborhood sidewalk on a 90-degree summer day with a dripping ice cream cone in-hand" - Paper Magazine
"effortless and undeniably re-playable" - Nerdist