Mike Doughty‘s prolific output has increased exponentially in recent years. Since his last album of new material (2011’s Sad Man Happy Man), he released a covers album, two live records and an album’s worth of re-recorded Soul Coughing songs, after distancing himself from that material for years. His newest album Stellar Motel was released in September.
Doughty’s last few releases have been fairly lo-fi and stripped down but Stellar Motel gives his sound a good shake-up, by incorporating plenty of Hip-Hop into the material. Doughty worked with indie Hip-Hop producer Good Goose on Stellar Motel, which essentially goes back and forth between straightforward guitar tunes and Hip-Hop tracks. Stellar Motel kicks off with the great lead single “Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future,” which is built around an ominous banjo sample. Much of the record alternates between classic solo Doughty songs such as “When The Night Is Long” and “These Are Your Friends,” and wackier Hip-Hop collaborations like “Oh My God Yeah F*** It” and “Let’s Go To The Motherf***ing Movies.” Multiple under-the-radar guest rappers appear throughout Stellar Motel, trading off verses with Mike on tracks such as “Let Me Lie” and “Pretty Wild.”
After two decades of music making (Soul Coughing’s debut album recently celebrated its 20th anniversary!), it’s great to see Doughty still experimenting and musically mixing things up.
By Joey Odorisio