Alex Bleeker is sharing a new project this upcoming Saturday entitled Bet Your Ass, which follows last fall’s Freaks release Country Agenda and is our first taste of new music since the Real Estate bassist moved to San Francisco earlier this year. Bleeker describes the tape as “six tracks of raw, hard-hitting outlaw country,” but the title track would certainly have you fooled. “Bet Your Ass” is almost overwhelmingly pleasant, furthering my perception of Bleeker as one of the nicest-seeming dudes in indie rock. He’s a Deadhead who just moved to one of the most laid-back big cities in the country, and his lead cuts on Real Estate albums along with his past solo material are usually nothing short of joyously breezy.
“Bet Your Ass” is no different. Bleeker puts up an early dispassionate front, but soon winds up rattling off graciously kindhearted lyrics: “But I know things get hard sometimes/ And there’s always an ebb before the flow/ So take some time off work, what’s your money really worth?/ If you’re not here ready to roll.” That’s brotherly advice, delivered with a sympathetic smile, even though he’s assuring you he’s “a bad one” and “no good” immediately after. But despite Bleeker’s ineffectual suggestion of danger, he succeeds wildly at writing blissfully easygoing folk tunes that press against eardrums like the gentle ocean current sweeping into the Bay. “Bet Your Ass,” like Bleeker’s best work, is intuitively uplifting, right down to the “bap-ba-da-bap-ba” bridge. It wont send shivers down your spine, but it might just impart a skip in your step. Listen below.
Bet Your Ass Tracklist:
1. Mesa Blue
2. Bet Your Ass
3. Drinkin and Drivin’
4. Psychic Outlaw
5. Razor Tounge Woman
6. Faith Children (Little Wings Cover)
Bet Your Ass is out 7/23 via Death Records. You can pre-order it here.