Dent May, in the power of mirage

For eleven years now, Dent May has been walking (us) in the corridors of time, in search of the evaporated paradises of a Californian pop of which he has already surveyed almost all the registers, as a tourist disembarking from Mississippi (from Jackson, where he was born thirty-five years ago) in a Los Angeles ripoliné according to memories and fantasies. Released from anonymity for having participated in the wildly psycheic bestiary of Animal Collective at the turn of the previous decade, this lamb infatuated with the origin of a ukulele (like Julien Doré) released a heady fifth album, just as our Juju national persists in resuming Gilbert Montagné with pomp and seriousness as if it were Brian Wilson.

Under the sunlights of a sunshine-pop tropism that already radiated the marvelous Across the Multiverse Three years ago, May ended up building his own studio in LA, from where he piloted a ten-picture fantasy here around hotels that were too expensive for him and parties he was not invited to (Didn’t Get the Invite, as poignant as it is hilarious). Lonely beach boy, penniless heir to Harry Nilsson and Paul Williams, Dent May slaloms on the smooth waves of an ancient opulent and tenderly extravagant world of which he has made his eternal mirage. Because he is less cunning than the Lemon Twigs or Phoenix and not intended to end up in sync in Hollywood, his taste for illusions (optical, or lost, as we want) is not a reactionary withdrawal but everything of a retinal persistence of a past dream, filtered regardless of the calendar. As if nothing had changed since guys dared to call themselves Andrew Gold and pose in turquoise suits in hotel rooms with Kubrickian wallpaper, on pockets with gleaming lettering, blaring refrains to lift skirts (Sea Salt & Caramel , I Could Use a Miracle) in the rules of an art which has no other function than that of immediate pleasure. With his Wes Anderson side, Dent May could even, on a misunderstanding, become a beloved captain of the current yacht rock revival, a few synths bringing a slight 80’s touch (Easier Said Than Done) to these outrageously seventies composites. When we see the face of 2020, we understand that it stops there.

Christophe Conte

Dent May Late Checkout (Carpark).


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