It’s hard, maybe impossible, not to fall for the nerdy, feel-good croon-a-alongs of this trailer-dwelling Southern boy, who calls himself ‘the softest boy in Mississippi’, and who was signed to Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks imprint last year. His barbershop pop draws from wah-wah-wah, doo-doo-doo Beach Boys harmonies, Prince lyrics and open-heart Morrissey storytelling, and before they have time to check themselves, grown men and their pints find themselves swaying along in the Captain’s Rest basement.
He’d be fooling no one if he tried to act the hardman, singing in a falsetto with a tiny ukulele resting against his Cosby sweater, but May’s rollercoaster vocals and modern troubadour schtick make him a quirky hero to his crowd, who end up singing along to the small-town loser cautionary tale ‘College Town Boy’, the chirpy serenade ‘I’m an Alcoholic’, or his tear-stained cover of Prince’s ‘When You Were Mine’. One very chic geek, who melted hearts at SXSW the week before, he wasn’t kidding when he called his debut album The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele.
Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Sun 29 Mar