Singer-guitarist Dominic Angelella is a busy dude and all, but you might also call this the sound of him gettin' busy.
When he got the profile treatment back in CP's Fall Music Issue, Angelella said that in addition to playing in at least three bands at any given time (Hop Along, Elevator Fight and Lithuania being his current squeezes), he's often at the lab with South Philly producer Ritz Reynolds working on Dragon King, which I described as the "Gorillaz-style pop flipside to [his] eclectic songwriting."
Last night Reynolds blasted the news onto Twitter: the first Dragon King track was ready, and available for consumption:
I remember sitting upstairs at the Barbary, talking with Angelella over tacos and Tecate, when he handed me a pair of headphones to listen to a rough mix of this song. The beat and loop of that scaled-back version reminded me of a half-tempo "On Melancholy Hill," and I bobbed my head along. Hearing it now, wrapped up in robes of bubbling synthesizer, a sensual dancefloor bump and groovy heavenly harmonies (care of Hop Along's Frances Quinlan, Lithuania / Dr. Dog's Eric Slick, among others), it launches forth into stratospheric heights, bringing with it the many sides of the guy at the helm.
We hear Angelella the rocker, raspy voice and dusty coat, strolling the sidewalks of Port Richmond with a tune in his head. We hear Angelella the dancefloor nut, back at Bouffant Bangout grooving in the middle of the crowd. We hear Angelella the studied composer, who knows a thing or two about chord changes and multi-textured harmonies and why they affect the human ear the way they do. It's dreamy, its poppy, its anthemic for sure. It's got the potential to cause a buzz among people who are going to label it "chillwave" or whatever, and it's got the hooks to break out of the microgenre niche music world. It makes me want to hear more. Make with the full record, dude!
BONUS MATERIAL: also in the profile, Eric Slick told me (and by extension, the rest of y'all) that Angelella is "the most incredible freestyle rapper" in the city. I totally thought he was being facetious. Then I stumbled across this:
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