Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Stef + The Sleeveens - "Give My Regards To The Dancing Girls"

On their debut record, Nashville's Stef + The Sleeveens thrill with a pair of infectious & life-affirming rock and roll tunes. Stef is Dublin-born songwriter Stefan Murphy (The Mighty Stef). The Sleeveens are Ryan Sweeney (Cheap Time, Hans Condor, Sweet Time Records) on drums, Eli Steele (Sweet Knives) on guitar, and Jamie Mechan on bass. "Give My Regards To The Dancing Girls," out now on Sweet Time Records, features an A-side that is hands down one of the year's best songs. I was intrigued by the idea of a single clocking in at over five minutes. That intrigue quickly turned to pure delight once the music started. "Give My Regards To The Dancing Girls" is an epic rocker inspired by the pandemic — a moment in time when the very idea of dancing in public spaces and living joyfully seemed under great threat. This song is nothing less than an anthem. Murphy sings with tremendous passion and conviction while The Sleeveens rock out like there's no tomorrow (holy cow — that lead guitar!). I can't help getting teary-eyed hearing lyrics like these:

Give my regards 
To the dancing girls
And all you dancing people 
All over this world 
May you reap ten times the love
The love that you sow
And may there be sweet music 
Every place you go

Are those words to live by, or what? If you believe in the power of rock and roll to lift the soul and bring deeper meaning to human existence, this is absolutely the song for you. Combining Murphy's poetry and vocal presence with the driving energy of a first rate punky rock and roll garage band proves to be a winning recipe. On the B-side, the mid-tempo punk-pop tune "Small Talk With Jonathan" is literally about hanging out with Jonathan Richman after a show. I'm assuming it's based on a true story, and it's every bit as fun and uplifting as you'd expect a song about Jonathan Richman to be. If this record doesn't make you smile, you are most definitely dead inside. Mechan engineered and produced these tracks at his 302 Sounds studio in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, and they sound totally amazing. You can't ask for a better debut record than this. It's good to know a full-length album is coming in 2024!

No comments: