Producer/guitarist and all around suave dude, Mark Ronson, returns for his fourth studio album, Uptown Special, out January 27, 2015 via RCA.
One of two lead singles, “Daffodils” featuring Tame Impala mastermind, Kevin Parker, premiered yesterday on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show to the delight of music fan boys all across the world (including myself).
With numerous Grammys under his belt, including the highly esteemed Producer of the Year award for his work on the Amy Winehouse classic, Back to Black, Mark Ronson is well known for his eclectic tastes and hard work. We knew he liked Tame Impala, but as Parker reportedly lends vocals to three tracks and significant instrumental contributions to the rest of the album, we had no idea his interest would turn into what’s become a very highly anticipated collaboration.
“Daffodils” commences with the quintessential keyboard dissonance we grew to love on Tame Impala’s fantastic Lonerism, as crunching, twisting, and whirring flourishes emulate Ronson searching an FM radio for the right tune– and very quickly, he finds it. An unmistakable Kevin Parker guitar riff explodes onto the scene, bouncing back and forth, dripping with disco fusion, while Ronson himself channels Nile Rodgers’ Chic days in tandem.
Much of the lyrical contributions on the album are uniquely provided by Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Michael Chabon, but Parker quickly makes them his own as the words trickle off his tongue in a delicately cool falsetto, “run your fingers down the cool underbelly of the blue evening.” Echo and reverb effects add an almost ephemeral quality to Parker’s sly delivery that makes the listener want to strut down the street like they own the entire block.
Meticulous production shines throughout the song, as “Daffodils” sprawls across genres; diving through disco, onward past psychedelia and even rocking the type of hard house you might hear on a Justice record. The rock riff infused neo disco jam finally and simply concludes with Ronson’s amused half-chuckle.
Even he knows how good it is.
Make sure you check out Mark Ronson performing on SNL on November 22nd for the first time in his career. Bruno Mars will be there to help perform “Uptown Funk,” and Ronson will be performing another track with a “very special guest.” Could it be Kevin Parker’s SNL debut as well? This fan boy can only hope.
(Featured image courtesy of Flickr)