Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered and mastered by Sam Patlove
Just when we think we've got our moves mastered, Bosco Delrey gets parts of our bodies doing things that we never commissioned them to do. We had thought that we were set, that we were those old dogs with all of those old tricks, unwilling to roll over in any sort of different, new manner. We thought that we were dialed in and able to just go through the motions and the emotions, able to recognize the ways that the bodies we are attached to are going to react to certain stimuli. Delrey, the thrift-store pompadoured songwriter and beat-maker from New Jersey-by-way-of-Memphis, Tennessee, gets us going in all kinds of new directions. If we were to compare it to side dishes, the music on Delrey's debut full-length, "Everybody Wah," could be compared to loaded mashed potatoes (so, the spuds, the sour cream, chives, onions, bacon and some extras) or some southern-style baked beans, with shreds of pulled pork, more of those onions and peppers and spices. There are those moments when we sense that he's taking us into those proven realms of skittering and shaking, slightly askew electronic music that goes heavy on the back beats, but it never stays there, where we think it might be heading. We feel as if we're swooping, like hawks, over and through these songs and genres as Delrey infuses all of these dancey moments over and around some very classic-sounding, bluesy rock and roll, the kind that is the bedrock of nearly every genre of music. He seems indebted to those sounds of sharp and unbridled soul, the ones that Sam & Dave and Otis Redding were making at the end of Beale Street decades and decades ago, but also seems to be just as indebted to the Beastie Boys, Jam-Master Jay, Radiohead and the man who signed him to his own label, Diplo. It's the kind of music that is completely uprooted and wandering, gathering itself around the various, strange bedfellows and then spawning off into its own controlled wilderness. Diplo calls him "a sort of garbage can Elvis from New Jersey... teaspoon craziness, a pinch of rockabilly, and full cup of soul dressed in a leather jacket," and a finer description of the kid probably won't ever come along. Delrey makes music that loves its irascibility and its shiftiness and it leaves us feeling it in muscles we never knew we had, hearing a faint echo of Sam Cooke reminding us, "Don't fight it/Don't fight it/Feel it," so we do, amongst the glow sticks and the burnouts.