Once in a while, maybe more so for some people such as myself, it feels great to get away from the pop chart junk, settle down on the road or in your bedroom, and give a listen to one of those left of field, obscure groups that are too honest to be molded into any radio or MTV mainstay. One of those ‘groups’ is a project by Zagley called Groove Hat.
Groove Hat has released the satirical inclined, funk driven track, entitled “Sandman Here”. An upbeat spoken-word tune that would make you laugh if it wasn’t so true. It’s a skillful, lyrically poignant song which has that magical ability to take you to some emotional place you’ve never been, where you aren’t completely happy but you’re perfectly content with everything and wouldn’t change any of it.
If you could imagine a hybrid mix of Prince, the Eels and “Weird Al” Yankovic, you’d be close the sound Groove Hat is creating on “Sandman Here”. I’m not sure if Zagley is a genius or not, but his combination of deep, witty lyrics and unconventional, funk-rock music make for a track which is mind-numbingly articulate, both musically and lyrically.
If you’re funk and looking to venture into something alternative, or you’re alternative and looking to venture into something funky, here’s the ideal place to begin. With its hypnotic bass line and squeaky synths, and crunchy guitar, you will find yourself being sucked into wanting more. This is definitely not for the faint of heart, or mainstream radio addict, only for true alternative/indie fans, but if you take the time with “Sandman Here”, the tune will eventually sneak up on you.
I think Groove Hat and as such Zagley, is a fascinating talent. His music is not only enjoyable, but thought provoking, endlessly groovy, sometimes vulnerable, smart, eclectic, and all kinds of other good things here. “Sandman Here” is the uncorking of raw emotion without any trace of pretense. Although Groove Hat experiments with many unusual timbres, the track does not feel over-produced or self-indulgent. Life is ambiguous. Breathe deeply. Take it all in. Plug your headphones into your iPod and take this unusual trip with Zagley. It’s worth it.