Pop & Hiss premiere: Umphrey’s McGee’s new song ‘Booth Love’
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Though they’ve built much of their reputation on being a freewheeling pack of multidisciplined jam artists, the Chicago-based six-piece Umphrey’s McGee delivered a deft change of pace this week, days before the release of their forthcoming album, “Death by Stereo.” There are a lot of ways to describe their new song “Booth Love” in the context of their recent funk-driven bent. A mélange of thick bass, ghostly synth and succinct soul vocals recalls a bit of disco-era Marvin Gaye, a hint of Radiohead and what keyboardist Joel Cummins calls “Hall and Oates for the 21st century.”
The album, slated for a Sept. 13 release on Dave Matthews’ ATO records, is an exercise in rhythm that embraces a harder, experimental rock edge with some fat-bottom funk.
“There’s a dance element and a really progressive element. The idea is that you’re never quite sure what’s gonna happen next,’ Cummins said. ‘There’s a deep pocket funk side and a jam band side.”
The idea for the song, Cummins said, came from guitarist-vocalist Jake Cinninger and sees Cummins employing a lot more Rhodes and Mini Moog organs, a slightly different flavor for someone who has depended on his trusty Hammond B3 on past albums. He didn’t turn it on once for ‘Death by Stereo.’
“For this album, I’ve been using a lot more Wurlitzer and ‘80s polysynth sounds to capture dancier feels on some of our songs,” Cummins explained. Below is the premiere of “Booth Love.”
-- Nate Jackson