Swamp Dogg has been an outsider-soul legend for decades. Back in the ’60s, Jerry Williams, Jr. was one of many talented but relatively anonymous soul singers and songwriters. But at the dawn of the ’70s, he reinvented himself as a psychedelic gutbucket showman, recording brilliantly weird concept albums like Total Destruction To Your Mind. He’s been operating on the music-business periphery ever since. And now he’s back with some prominent collaborators.
Swamp Dogg recorded the new album Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune with producer Ryan Olson, a member of Minneapolis synthpoppers Poliça and the former frontman of the Prince-damaged supergroup Gayngs. As the title implies, the album is a series of robo-voiced meditations on solitude and loneliness, a 76-year-old legend learning whatever he can from Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak and applying it to his own music and persona. It’s a strange and beautiful piece of work, and it is worth your time.
We’ve already posted the first single “I’ll Pretend,” which has vocals and production from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and Swamp Dogg’s album-opening take on Nat King Cole’ “Answer Me, My Love.” And right now, you can stream the whole album at NPR.
Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune is out 9/7 on Joyful Noise.