Last.fm is all about discovering and sharing music. Here at Last HQ we do it all day, every day. So in a brand new series for Originals, each week the Last.fm Music Team takes turns showcasing the stuff that’s rattling their speakers. In this edition, Peter Grumbine introduces us to Doc Daily and Magnolia Devil, who you should really be listening to already. Now.
All the music I love the most has an indescribable element to it. It’s not the notes or the lyrics or the groove: it’s something deeper underneath. It’s a quality of the soul and emotion in a song that can’t be described in words, which is a beautiful thing, but also a real kick in the pants if it’s your job to describe music with words.
Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil has that thing. Catching the Presidents is the Muscle Shoals’ band’s second album, and it’s a real beaut.
There’s a lot of Americana and indie folk out there these days, but Doc Daileyl sets himself apart with his ability to truly, emotionally connect the listener with the stories he’s set to song– again, it’s that indescribable thing. Doc sings with such an empathetic spirit that the specific people and stories he tells transcend to the universal.
Sad songs are hard to do right. Sure, plenty of people have made a career out of them, and scores upon scores have tried, but there is a fine art to telling a sad story that people actually give a shit about. There’s a very small sweet spot between the vast polarities of the typical, petty, woe-is-me, overly affected list of unrelatable, personal f*ckups and music that’s so depressing that it leaves you catatonic, balled up in the corner, shirtless and sobbing into a bucket of on sale ale and fear by the time you get to track three.
Doc Dailey hits that sweet spot. Doc and company make sing along sad songs. It’s a tradition as old as music itself, but not may people do it any more.
“Picture Frames” could easily be the postmortem written by the now grown baby in George Jones’ “The Grand Tour.” It’s an absolute heart breaker, but the story is told with such a reflective, peace-making point of view that all you want to do is hug your family or even the random family standing next to you (proceed with caution if they have kids– or, you know what, just skip it if they have kids. Could get creepy. Hug an old person or something– they’re always down for it).
The songs aren’t all tear-jerkers. “She Has Her Moments” is a scorching tell-off that probably makes the most spiteful use of the lyric “Buttercup” that’s ever been in a song. You can download that track right here:
You can stream and purchase all of Catch the Presidents in the widget below, and you should.
The album’s given the band a nice lift on their listening trend here on Last.fm since its release, but undoubtedly once word continues to get out about it, we’ll see those numbers grow even more.