Dent May is a character and solo act from Mississippi who has been releasing his tunes on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks label since 2008. I came across Dent May whilst listening to a radio show guest-hosted by Noah Lennox of Animal Collective, showcasing some of his new Panda Bear material and a few other songs he’s pumped on. As the story goes, Animal Collective was busy recording for their amazing pop break-out LP “Merriweather Post Pavilion” in a Mississippi-based studio. One evening they all went out for night on the town and stumbled across a concert featuring Dent May at some unlikely location, became instantly infatuated with his take on things, and subsequently signed him to their label. Anyways, most of Lennox’s selections on this radio show were avant-garde electro/noise bands of a similar vein, until the left field grand finale – Dent May’s “Eastover Wives” (free download here: http://www.gorillavsbear.net/2010/08/12/mp3-dent-may-eastover-wives/). I found myself in a fit of laughter, amusement, and genuine awe of how the song was all at once ridiculous, humorous, entertaining and most of all catchy as hell. It blended electro-pop with 70s-quality falsetto harmonization, Fisher Price drum programming, elementary rhyme schemes and guileless lyrical content. Think of one of the Beach Boys writing a song around age 10, wearing Batman undies, cowboy boots and a neon headband.
Perusing live videos online, you’ll find Dent May performing in doughnut shops, tinsel-covered basements, and in his self-proclaimed “infotainment cult” hub the “Cats Purring Dude Ranch” (a former Boys & Girls club venue). Donning curious outfits and a rather serious look on his face, Dent May unabashedly tackles songwriting and performing, discussing comically-menial topics like struggling to find rent money, the fear of growing up to be like your parents, falling in love at an academic conference, throwing in the towel of sobriety, and a wide range of other esoteric issues he proclaims to face in his ever-interesting life.
In 6 years, Dent May has release 3 entertaining LPs and a handful of EPs that have only appreciated with time. 2008’s “The Good Feeling Music Of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele” is precisely as the title suggests and therefore likely doesn’t warrant any further explanation. Follow-up LPs “Do Things” and “Warm Blanket” are a slightly more polished, but still altogether goofy extension of his talents and are also great listens.
Favourite track: [It’s “Eastover Wives” but I’ll post another goodie] Girls On The Square (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hVIfjNPCM8)… oh that’s what a ukelele sounds like.