‘The Queen of Clubs’ is a new track from The Golden Dregs’ upcoming album, Hope is for the Hopeless – set for release on September 27th. The brainchild of Benjamin Woods is delivering a follow-up to his understated debut, 2018’s Lafayette. (You should certainly look up, and listen to Lafayatte if you’ve not yet had the opportunity)
Like is debut album, ‘The Queen of Clubs’ follows Woods’ previous interest in storytelling, narrator-driven studies, and the kind of baritone that knows that a carefully measured pause offers more than an urgent debate.
There’s a starkness to The Golden Dregs that carries with it a warmth. The unsung is sung about, and the unobserved underclasses are given opportunities in weird phosphorescent glow. Woods is keen to shine light into the grim, the personal, and the mundane characters of a world not quite right.
Spare guitar melody drives close to Country twang, brassier instruments come in, drums do their thing, but with a distant deliberation. Percussive elements are there, and they are deliberate, but they don’t intrude on the focus. Lyrics here are everything.
Woods plays with internal rhymes, puns, alliteration. He drives through the nonsensical to sharpen a view. It’s true that his tales reflect artists like Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman, etc. etc. But there’s a Dylanesque device in getting to the hypereal through this kind of word-play. “The practical jokers and tactical voters take tactical toke to see if they joke on the fumes.” This shit is exquisite, and it’s delivered with an easy grace.
HURRY – BUY – THE GOLDEN DREGS MUSIC
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOSHUA EIFFEL