About Dent May
Singer/songwriter Dent May has an angelic voice that he puts to use on clever pop tunes derived from sources like soft rock, sunshine pop, and disco. Whether he's strumming a ukulele as he briefly did on his debut album, 2009's The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, or duetting on a cosmic disco track with Frankie Cosmos on the title track of 2017's Across the Multiverse, May shows a lot of range within the small spectrum of sound he's chosen to explore. Mostly, though, he's at his best on melancholy, effortlessly charming midtempo pop songs like those found on 2013's Warm Blanket and 2020's Late Checkout.
May grew up in Mississippi and was drawn to music at a young age, singing in his church choir, learning piano and guitar, and playing in cover bands during high school. He started off writing songs inspired by Green Day and Weezer, but after discovering Serge Gainsbourg and the psychedelic pop of the '60s, his writing began to change. While in college at the University of Mississippi, he was the driving force behind the collective Cats Purring Dude Ranch, which supported local musicians and sponsored shows by touring acts. May also performed regularly and was spotted one night by the members of Animal Collective, who were in Oxford recording Merriweather Post Pavilion. They were so taken with his loveable pop sound and clever lyrics that they signed him to their Paw Tracks imprint. May released The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele in early 2009 and indeed it did feature May strumming the ukulele on many songs. His next project was an abrupt jump that found him creating dance music under the name Dent Sweat, releasing a couple of synth-filled, R&B-inspired songs in 2010. He followed that in a more expected manner with 2012's Do Things, which incorporated some of these elements into his now ukulele-free sound. The sessions for his next record found May moving out of his home studio and recording by himself in an allegedly haunted house. Less dance music-inspired and more introspective, 2013's Warm Blanket spotlights May's increasingly impressive songwriting skills. He moved to Los Angeles after the album's release and began to absorb the sunny sounds of the West Coast, which was apparent on his disco-informed "Face Down in the Gutter of Your Love" single from 2016. Along with switching his home address, May also traded labels, moving from Paw Tracks to Carpark in time for the release of his 2017 album, Across the Multiverse. The album featured a duet with his former pen pal Frankie Cosmos on the disco-fied title track and blended all the elements of his styles to date (minus the ukulele) to create a smooth and easy singer/songwriter blend that wouldn't have sounded out of place next to Andrew Gold or Stephen Bishop on a late-'70s AM radio playlist.
It took awhile for May to issue his next album, as much of his time was spent helping to build Honeymoon Suite Recording Studio with his friends Pat Jones and Michael Rosen. Once it was done, May made the leap from bedroom recording to an actual studio on 2020's Late Checkout, an album made up of May's now familiar mix of melancholy ballads, low key disco jams, and sweet indie pop. ~ James Christopher Monger & Tim Sendra