If you take the laid-back, nerdy charm of Rivers Cuomo and combine it with the retro-pop grooves of Tennis or even Foxygen (minus some of vocalist Sam France’s bombast), you would probably get something in the vein of Dent May. The musician from Oxford, Mississippi has made his name creating warm and breezy pop songs with a distinguishable throwback croon and falsetto. His latest outing Across the Multiverse has more indie-pop polish than ever before - his croon is as good as ever, and so is the instrumentation surrounding it. The space-themed setting and the lapel pin on the album cover says it all - it's an indie-pop escape, and he brought his flight of fancy to Songbyrd for an entertaining Sunday night.
May is engaging on stage with wisecracks at the ready. Playing an unusually late set for a Sunday (he went on at 10:15 PM), he asked "Who's going to work tomorrow?" and received loud applause in response. His reply? "That's awesome...I wish I had a job." His relaxed demeanor between songs was a stark contrast to his behavior during one. He was wildly animated on songs like “Picture On a Screen,” where he jumped along as he strummed his guitar. And for “the Dent May-ites in the crowd,” as he put it, he included older favorites like “Born Too Late” and “Meet Me in the Garden,” which were both just as infectiously head-bobbing as ever. May’s Roy Orbison-esque vocals and his marriage of 50s-era rock n’ roll with modern indie-pop trends gives him a unique spot in today’s musical landscape that’s worth experiencing live. His latest album Across the Multiverse is out now on Carpark Records.
Opening for Dent May was DC-based musician Poppy Patica. With only a drum machine playing premade, endearingly kitschy percussion tracks and an electric guitar slung over his shoulder, he gave a one-person show with a lot of retro-pop promise - not unlike Dent May at his start. His latest release is Tripping None and is available on his Bandcamp page.