[ReDigi’s blog originally hosted this music news feature.] If you loved the Lovage, baby, you’ll love Pillowfight. Serial collaborator and super producer Dan the Automator is poised to make an impact with indie ingenue Emily Wells, a sort of sultry torch singer and violinist with hip-hop sensibilities. Last year her debut album Mama was acclaimed by outlets like NPR and Spin, which called her a “feral, streetwise Nina Simone.”
According to the Huffington Post, Pillowfight, “came about when Kid Koala (who’s also in the new group) and Emily were paired up at “an artist workshop at a Canadian music festival.” Lateef the Truthspeaker drops a few verses and provides backing vocals as well. The Automator’s production is polished and cutting-edge, while Wells’ lush voice seems floats in from another era.
Much like it’s big sister band Lovage — Dan The Automator’s previous hook-up with Jennifer Charles and Mike Patton – Pillowfight finds a way to feel fresh amid a rabidly retro vibe. For a quick primer on the man with many a plan, check out these four Dan the Automator alliances.
1. Lovage: The aforementioned group only released a single record “Music to Make Love To Your Old Lady By” encompassing DtA under his pseudonym “Nathaniel Merriweather,” alongside epic experimental musician Mike Patton, and Elysian Fields‘ smoldering vocalist Jennifer Charles. Dark and seductive, yet silly (three adjectives that can describe most Patton/Automator projects), Charles and Patton traded off singing duties and paid tribute to Alfred Hitchcock with their fun movie throwback song titles and spooky sensuality.
2. Gorillaz: Blur‘s Daman Albarn and friends stuck it to the MTV generation with their pre-fab cartoon band. It’s chart-topping electro hip hop debut album and single “Clint Eastwood” were produced by Dan the Automator.
3. Handsome Boy Modeling School: Scathing social commentary via hip hop was delivered by the duo of Dan the Automator and Prince Paul (of De La Soul among many others) cutting into the stuffy upper crust, chewing up and spitting out celebrity culture and socialites.
4. Peeping Tom: DtA again teams up with Mike Patton, via Patton’s own record label Ipecac Recordings, who called the group his version of pop music saying, “I don’t listen to the radio, but if I did, this is what I’d want it to sound like.”