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JazzTimes 10: Intoxicating Tracks About Alcohol

Songs to choose when breaking out the booze

  1. Thundercat: “Drunk” (Drunk, Brainfeeder, 2017)

“Drowning away/All of the pain/Till I’m totally numb”—there’s not a tremendous amount of fun in Thundercat’s short ode to dissipation. The bassist and vocalist is barely hanging on here. His romantic life is confusing and contradictory, he’s either paranoid or speaking in paranoid metaphors (“Squirrels and snakes keep me on my toes”), and he’s disgusted by fakery (“LOL I’m so over it/’Cause nothing is real”). Throughout, his falsetto is awash in echo and surrounded by surreal pulsations of guitar and electronics—suggesting that his senses are giving way. Far too quirky to enter the standard repertoire, it’s nonetheless as melancholy and self-stroking in Thundercat’s milieu as “One for My Baby” is in Sinatra’s. (The situation won’t end well, either; two tracks later on the Drunk album comes “DUI.”)

Preview, buy or download Drunk on Amazon!

Originally Published

Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.