Dream of a Man in a Top Hat captured the ears of listeners with their instrumental tracks that threw equal parts psychedelic rock, post-punk and alternative rock together. Now, they are meandering into country territory with their single ‘Cold Hard Dirt’. Adding a cosmic shimmer to a wonderful blend of alt-country, folktronica and rock, the duo has you rocking out to their wild, quirky and unique sound.
After adding vocals to their full-length album, they have taken their blend of music to a whole new level of engaging. Lee Leffler (guitars, keyboards, vocals) and Michael Frackleton (drums, bass, percussion, keyboards, vocals) also use their experience in the music industry to pump the engaging energy of their sound up to 11. After hitting the music scene in the 80s post-punk band Native Tongue, the duo got back together 30 years later, bringing a new spin to the uncompromising sensibilities of their original work.
‘Cold Hard Dirt’ strums into your ears with an easy movement, while the drums rise in pulses of cymbals. There is an easy feeling to the music that catches you in the movement. While the initial melodic lines have a rather grounded feeling to them, a more cosmic and spacy haze enters to hover over them. This creates an interesting vibe to the single as the grounded tones keep you tethered, while the spacy tones try to lift you off the ground and send you floating away into the stratosphere. As the single continues, the country hit makes its way into the melody, adding to the grounded feeling of the instrumentation. At times, there is a dusty edge to the sound like the wind rustling sand in the desert. Everything takes a turn for the bridge later in the track where the real fusion of rock, space and country hits you.
The initial vocal line is a hazy, almost psychedelic, flow that fills the high layers of the single. The main vocal line slides in below this line to create a meandering kaleidoscopic path that leads you to the space between the melodic lines. There is a touch of grounding to the performance, but this is tempered by a cosmic edge. The lyrics have a poetic touch as they question a faceless entity. It is a really interesting single that is quite unlike anything else you might be listening to.
Dream of a Man in a Top Hat bring a unique sound to our ears with a cosmic combination of poetic lyrics, folktronica, country and rock in ‘Cold Hard Dirt’. The melody brings a dual sense to the single as the cosmic tones threaten to send you into space, while the grounded rock keeps you tethered to the Earth. The vocals find a middle space in the melody and set out a kaleidoscopic path for you to follow.