Dent May, Warm Blanket
Guileless summer-pop and snuggly comfort sounds
When Dent May released his debut The Good Feeling Music of Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks imprint in 2009, the question wasn’t if irony was fueling his lounge-pop Tiny Tim shtick, it was how much. Even worse, you wondered if Animal Collective somehow thought May was being totally sincere. But to his credit, the Oxford, Missouri, native has made amends and peace with his former guise; 2012′s Do Things ditched the ukulele entirely and now Warm Blanket goes even further into the guileless summer-pop that’s become his trade.
What hasn’t changed is that May gives you exactly what you expect from the album title. He self-recorded the majority of Warm Blanket on the gulf coast of Florida and this is all snuggly comfort sounds — acoustic guitars, stacked harmonies, analog synths, chintzy drum machines. As the record begins, he croons, “Dim the lights down real low/ Turn up the speakers, doll/ I’ve got something on my mind.” And as the song goes, in the summertime, he’s got women on his mind. But he’s not a skirt chaser or a beach bum. In both vocal tone and emotional tenor, he’s more in tune with legendary ocean-gazing hermit Brian Wilson, as lightly funky first single “Born Too Late” expresses incapacitating grief over being at the wrong place at the wrong time with the right girl. In fact, self-explanatory songs such as “I’m Ready To Be Old” and “Summer Is Over” makes it clear that while Warm Blanket is safe for use around barbecues, hammocks and lawn bowling sets, May himself only sounds capable of enjoying the summer in the past tense.