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The debut album by supergroup pairing Better Oblivion Community Center features nine songs by Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, and only one non-original: “Dominos,” a fuzzy, surreal surge of solitude with a voicemail voiceover and stacked verses about falling apart. It’s one of the most arresting songs on the record.
The songwriter is Taylor Hollingsworth, an original member of Oberst’s Mystic Valley Band and a busy musician in his own right. He has solo records dating back to 2003 and, along with his wife Kate, two Fat Possum-released albums as Dead Fingers, a project that paired cheeky, metaphorical songwriting with an old-time edge to make something acoustic and warm that can’t quite be described but fits squarely on this “stomp and flutter” Spotify playlist. He’s also played with a number of bands, including The Felice Brothers and fellow Alabamians The Dexateens.
Now the Birmingham, Ala.-based Hollingsworth is back with his first solo release under his own name since 2011’s Where to Go, How to Get There and What You Should Know in Advance. The new LP is called Tap Dancin’ Daddy, and it’s out Aug. 2 on Flower Moon Records. “Devil N Me,” the jivey lead single, is premiering here at Paste today, and you can listen down below.
“Devil N Me” is thematic kin to Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Off” but shares sound qualities with the latest from Gary Clark Jr.—that’s to say, it’s pure, hot blues. But like Clark’s new album, it’s the sound of the blues in 2019. There’s that sludgy guitar, smug harmonica and even what sounds like a washboard breakdown, but there’s also weird pedal effects and a synthetic organ. Hollingsworth sings the blues in his gritty, old-school alto, repeating “I’ve got the devil in me” until it sounds like he’s finally expunged the evil from his insides.
“When I’m speaking about the Devil … I’m not talking about the actual devil,” Hollingsworth says. “The Devil can be a metaphor for a lot of things that are bad. Every time I’ve written about the devil in every song in my entire life, its been about a craving for or the battle against evil things.”
The Hollingsworths still live in Birmingham, where you can occasionally spot Taylor playing local hangs or even busking at the farmer’s market. He recorded Tap Dancin’ Daddy at home in his basement, surrounded by his collection of old gear and weird art.
Again, you can listen to “Devil N Me” below, and you can preorder Tap Dancin’ Daddy (and also purchase a Taylor Hollingsworth bobble head) right here. Keep scrolling for Hollingsworth’s tour dates and the album art.
Taylor Hollingsworth Tour Dates:
08 – Santa Ana, Calif. @ The Observatory *
09 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Wiltern *
11 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Independent *
16 – Birmingham Ala. @ Seasick Records
22 – Tuscaloosa, Ala. @ Druid City Brewery
12 – Athens Ga. @ Georgia Theatre Rooftop
(* with Better Oblivion Community Center)
Tap Dancin’ Daddy Album Art: