DRGN King

Paragraph Nights

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Centered around the team of singer/songwriter Dominic Angelella and producer Ritz Reynolds, DRGN King's 2013 debut album, Paragraph Nights, balances soulful melodic songwriting with some psychedelic-tinged, electronica- and hip-hop-influenced production. With his laid-back, hippie-fied soulfulness, Angelella has a knack for coming up with a catchy melody and his songs often bring to mind the R&B-folk of Shuggie Otis and the confident hipster wisdom of Odelay-era Beck. There is an adventurous, lightly experimental quality to many of the cuts on Paragraph Nights, and songs like the bluesy, glitter rock stomper "Holy Ghost" and the fuzzy, girl group-sounding "Altamont Sunrise" play like long-lost college radio hits from the '90s. Similarly, tracks like the ebullient and driving "Wild Night" and the laid-back "Warriors" are perfect groovers for a late-summer afternoon. These are infectious, sunny cuts that mix the wide-eyed pop freedom of the Flaming Lips with a DJ's sense of dance club timing. Elsewhere, the disorienting and woozy "Barbarians," with its whining synths and buzzy low-end bassline, has a kind of genre-bending energy and cockeyed story arc that, much like the rest of Paragraph Nights, brings to mind a less bleak if equally as spiritually transcendent version of the Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin. In that sense, Paragraph Nights fits nicely alongside works by such similarly minded contemporaries as MGMT and AM & Shawn Lee. Ultimately, Paragraph Nights plays like a loose, sometimes literate, and often wry slacker song cycle about love, life, and good times.

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