By Charlie Maybee
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The eclectic, D.C.-based, soul/garage punk band, Lightmare, is bringing the noise and the funk with their new single “Sad Boi.” Like crashing waves, the funky rhythm guitar and synthesizer clash with the ornate horn sections to create a large, polyrhythmic, cacophonous sound that still maintains a solid cohesion.
The drums provide the right amount of expanding drive to transform their sound into something huge and overwhelming. Despite the forwardness of the bands funk roots, there is indeed a punk energy that seeps through the cracks of intricate rhythms. If you took the energetic brass of ska but kept the laid back groove of old school R&B, that’s where Lightmare seems to locate their sound.
As one of three singles off their new album Dirt, which just dropped on October 29, “Sad Boi” manages an aesthetic that feels simultaneously classic and modern. It’s a specific sonic locale that has been forged previously by the likes of like Alabama Shakes, St. Vincent, and The Black Keys, but Lightmare brings it new life.
As the chorus swells with impressive gusto of Shady Rose’s lead vocals, they continuously return to the lyrical motif of “Don’t you try me” as a warning to the titular sad boy who thinks his sadness is bigger than theirs. It may be a pissing contest, but clearly Rose has a reputation to uphold here as they grow larger than life, implying a no-contest attitude in this battle. Ultimately, they revel in the naturally emotive blues groove in which their vocals, and the band’s overall sound, resides.
“Sad Boi” and Lightmare’s new album Dirt are both available on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Bandcamp, Apple Music, and TIDAL.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
As the leader of nineties pop rockers 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry broke down barriers in the male dominates music business and created one of the decade’s most catchy songs: “What’s Up?” Perry released one stellar album with the band before going out on her own.
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