Paul De Jong – “Hollywald” (Stereogum Premiere)
It’s always sweet when either of the former Books boys drops a piece of solo ear candy. Nick Zammuto had his turn with 2014’s Anchor, and 2015 belongs to Paul De Jong with IF due in two short weeks. We’ve already heard the lead single, “Auction Block” and followup “This Is Who I Am.” Today, De Jong drops “Hollywald,” rounding out the first quarter of the album. I would normally call this a departure for another artist, but no two De Jong songs sound the same. The track opens with what sounds like a video game cheat code in repeat with a matching twangy guitar stroke for every word, gradually building in tempo. Then it careens into a drum pattern with Afro-Cuban leanings and guitar with some mean surf vibes before a folky fiddle intervenes. Sounds wacky, right? It’s so jaunty and delightful in combination that the eclecticism of it all doesn’t even matter. Listen.