She trades a shower for bright red lipstick…

Mickey Doolittle (the lounge singer alias of Michael Hesslein) has a varied discography–it all emanates from Brooklyn, it all pays really cool attention to drums, some of it is scuzzy and trippy, some of it is acoustic and twangy. This record, Dark Day to Drive, is all soul-rock-ballads. Driving stoned and sad songs. If you’re driving toward anything, it’s to a convenience store far away enough that you feel anonymous buying a whole bag of Reese’s and more Pall Malls. Everything here is in the key of Springsteen’s “Incident on 57th Street” or “Racing in the Street” or Justin Townes Earle’s Springsteen-y “Rogers Park.” Maybe you don’t want 40 minutes of that (it’s 40 good minutes, trust), but I guarantee you need at least the first song on the record, “Domino Road,” because it’s perfect. The piano intro sounds a lot like Neil Young’s “After the Goldrush,” but it’s perfect! Strings, piano, the voice, the chorus–it’s a holy composition, it’s been touched by pop gods. Mazeltov! A new perfect song emerges from the marble matter of the universe!

Domino Road
Casey Jane’s Blues (Wade the Water)

Go get Dark Day to Drive from Doolittle’s bandcamp (for a donation) and if you’re looking for more alt-country stuff, try 2011’s It Takes All Night (free DL) or Hesslein’s other band Mail The Horse.

Author: Mike Ostrov

Mike Ostrov relays the history of popular song on message boards and under rocks.