Joel Michael Howard – “Hit Wonder” (Stereogum Premiere)

Joel Michael Howard - "Hit Wonder" (Stereogum Premiere)

I can’t tell if Joel Michael Howard is spearheading a new genre of ironic sad pop or just putting a different spin on his usual melancholy. Either way, it works.

“Hit Wonder” is the first single from the Brooklyn-based artist’s forthcoming EP I Feel Nauseous, which follows his debut LP Love All Night. The new track shows Howard inching away from the buoyant guitars in previous songs like “Pete And Mary.” Instead, “Hit Wonder” opens with a sample of meowing cats. Howard then repeats the line “I make this, I’m famous” in his trademark croon over immaculate textures of snowy synths. The song’s structural packing is hushed, crestfallen, and as blue as the album art.

Howard includes this blurb with the single:

i made the song to be famous and i made the song so people knew that i made it. the song is void of substance or any semblance of such. so thought i should include lyrics. the song is heavy on meows though. i love meows.

Listen below and check out the lyrics along with the EP tracklist.

Lyrics:

I make this, I’m famous. I make this, I’m famous. I make this, I’m famous. I make this so you know I made this. And I don’t need any money. And I don’t need anybody. ‘Cause I have got my fame. And it can last all day. It can last all day.
I make this, now, I’m famous. I make this so you know I made this. I make this, now, I’m famous. I write this so you know I made this. And I don’t need any money. And I don’t need any suckers to tell me of energy, or science, or Harvard, I think I will go farther. That’s the best part of fame. It can last all day.
And the silver lining’s everywhere, but it can’t be right (repeat). Fame. It can last all day. Meow meow meow meow. That’s the best part of fame. Fame. It can last all day. Money money money money. That’s the best part of fame. Fame. It can last all day. Meow meow meow meow. That’s the best part of fame.

Tracklist:
01 “My Phone”
02 “Hit Wonder”
03 “Nice Car”
04 “Always”
05 “Look Alive”

I Feel Nauseous is out 1/22/16 on Ernest Jenning Record Company. Howard plays a release show this Sunday, 12/6, at the Knitting Factory in NYC.