Feeling honored about tonight’s exclusive premiere on Last Day Deaf from San Francisco Bay Area based musician Michael James Tapscott (perhaps you’ll recognize the vocals and the vibes if you are an Odawas fan), and a song from his new 5-track EP ‘Michael, the Worst‘, officially out on December 2nd, via the Oakland, CA based record label Royal Oakie Records.
‘Luxembourg Gardens‘ contains all the elements we adored in the magnificent Odawas’ album ‘The Blue Depths‘ (2009, Jagjaguwar), the poetic lyricism, the psych folk escapism, the divine, effortless melodies, however this one is more immediate and is somewhere in between the 70s Neil Young emotive, folk rock classics and the ‘The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse‘-era Besnard Lakes‘ drone folk triumph.
“I wept while finishing Les Miserables. I had loved the musical since I saw it in the 5th grade, but the stir I felt from the original text surpassed even “Do You Hear the People Sing?”. Oh, I’ve been to France. I saw the flying buttresses of Notre Dame from a distance. I learned nothing. I drank in pool halls and spent a lot of money.” (Michael James Tapscott)
Michael James Tapscott is a San Francisco Bay Area based musician, who since 2004 has recorded and performed as Odawas, China, More Animals of the Arctic, Pacific Walker, and most recently under his own name.
“Michael, the Worst” is his new EP, featuring 5 songs that draw upon loner folk, ambient country, atmospheric soundtracks, and new age music. Serving to tie together his musical output of the past decade, the EP pays homage to his back catalog – including reimagined version of two China songs (“Marnie Reprise” and “Honey Trap Reprise”); one unreleased China song (“Michael, the Worst”); and 2 new solo songs (“Luxembourg Gardens” and “Evacuation City”). The EP features contributions from Jeff Moller, Raphi Gottesman, Josh Housh, Jacob Aranda, and producer David Glasebrook.
Two of the songs are instrumentals, “Marnie Reprise” and “Honey Trap Reprise”, draw upon the soundtracks of Popol Vuh and Angelo Badalamenti, the devotional music of Alice Coltrane, and the shimmering guitar of early Michael Hedges. Meanwhile, the other three songs combine folk-rock melodies and textures with lyrics that play out like fragments of memories half remembered, half forgotten; “Luxembourg Gardens” was inspired by Les Miserables, and “Evacuation City” came to him in a dream.
After releasing two albums by China, 2016’s “Pool of Tears” and 2019’s “And Then Nothing Happened”, this is his first solo release with Oakland, CA based record label Royal Oakie. Keep your eye out for more new music from Michael James Tapscott in 2023.
Bandcamp (Pre-order): https://michaeljtapscott.bandcamp.com/album/michael-the-worst