Drugdealer Are as Smooth as Honey

Michael Collins’ psychedelic new release is the ideal soundtrack for a hazy Summer’s day. It’s the second full-length album for Collins under the name of ‘Drugdealer’ and is not without its intriguing inputs including the engineering of indie-rocker Mac DeMarco.  It’s clear that the authentic, no-extras production that makes Demarco’s own music stand out has had its mark on ‘Raw Honey’.

The album is littered with moments of recognition like this- making no effort to shy away from its variety of influences. There is an inescapable Beatles impression, along with palpable recollections of the Eagles and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Jazzy sax and electric licks intersect in tracks such as ‘Fools’: easily one of the highlights of the album in its upbeat groove and smooth-as-honey harmonies. It’s a recipe of nostalgic inspirations, and the result is nothing less than delightful.

The blend of sixties psychedelia and melodic harmonies of the seventies makes ‘Raw Honey’ both evocative and refreshing. Certain tracks, such as ‘Wild Motion’ nearing the back-end of the record, have a movie-soundtrack quality, recalling Father John Misty’s slow, cinematic lyricism. A constancy with sounds of the past is something inherent to the album and to Drugdealer as an artist. Maybe these sounds aren’t anything ‘new’ in themselves, but put together, they create something unique. Collin’s record is deliciously laidback, stylistic and unavoidably enjoyable. It’s an album that allows you to sit back and ignore the humdrum of the outside world for a little while- and might just be the thirty-five minutes of escapism you didn’t know you needed.

[4/5 Stars]