New Release: K. Michelle DuBois The Fever Returns
When folks start talking about fever during a pandemic, it’s rarely a good thing. Atlanta singer/songwriter K. Michelle DuBois (aka KMD) has changed that, giving the fever back to rock and roll where it belongs. But this is not just any rock and roll record, but a retro rock and roll record. DuBois exists in the new wave decade as evidenced by her love for experimental rock and ’80s production elements showcased on her fourth studio album,The Fever Returns.
The Bandcamp page describes the album as “…a blend of futuristic and retro sounds come together providing a backdrop to DuBois’s poetic notions.” This may be an understatement on the aesthetic value of this album. The artists performing on this release are first-rate. DuBois handles vocals, keys, percussion, and co-production; Dan Dixon (PLS PLS) plays guitar, some keys, percussion, and production duties; and Chandler Rentz relentlessly rips through the drums. Each musician increases by tenfold the energy and excellence of Fever while the overall production quality gives the release a rich and accessible sound.
For example, “Heaven” is shot out of a cannon with visions of living in the southeast, “And now I’m here / Looks like I’ll stay / Wisteria wrapped ’round my veins.” “Heaven is a wild place!” If you’ve ever powered through the night, fighting the sandman, the uber-catchy “Firestar” is your song. DuBois sings of pulling an all-nighter in the Big Apple, “It’s 2am and I’m feeling bold / Staying warm in a faux mink stole / In New York we walk the streets / Stand over the vents and feel the city heart beating.” “Waves Break” sounds like a lost track from Duran Duran’s Rio, while the title track could have almost made it on a Kate Bush record. A hint of KMD’s experimental DNA can be found in “Strawberry Moon” and “Baby Witch.”
DuBois has invited us all into her world which is painted with intriguing and beguiling lyrics. “All Night Glamour” is a brilliant pop song on which she sings, “I wander the streets at night / Looking for trouble to get into / The wallpapered hallways with flickering lights / Doors that open and promise delights.”
For another treat, check out KMD’s Truth Hits Everybody EP from last summer. On it, she covers The Police song, transforming it into one of the most exuberantly wonderful covers of a Police tune ever recorded. Check out the original for comparison. Also included is the PLS PLS remix of “Waves Break” by Fever bandmate Dixon. Finally, “Strange” is one of her favorite Rosser tunes.
DuBois generously agreed to have a chat about her new release:
No Earplugs: So, do you answer to K, Michelle, or KMD?
DuBois: I answer to many things including KMD, Michelle, Mimi, or Shelly, etc.
What’s the origin of your love of that ‘80s retro sound and who are some influences? I’ve noticed a dash of Duran Duran and Kate Bush, among others.
The ‘80s sound is in my heart since high school, and yes, the influences you hear are there…as a huge music lover I’m always listening to old and new. I’m inspired by artists that continue to create and explore new paths such as Thom Yorke, Gary Numan, and Missy Elliott (what a trio!), and newer artists whose level of freedom and output inspire me such as The Weeknd, M83, and Lana Del Rey. Check out my Artist Picks playlist on Spotify – I update monthly with tunes that have drawn my attention.
As a Police fan, I love your “Truth Hits Everybody” cover. How’d you decide on that song?
The past year when so many of us have been at odds I feel like more than anything what we all want is the truth, and sooner or later it comes out. So, I kept singing that chorus in my head and then it was almost like I had to do that cover because my brain would not stop until I got it out (LOL). Plus, loved the Police always.
How did you hook up with Chris Chandler on his Velvet Underground remake?
I have known Chris for a while, so I was very pleased when he asked me to sing “All Tomorrow’s Parties.” I love how it turned out!
In “Southern Gothic Dream,” you mention, “…the little girl from Knoxville.” From where do you hail?
Oklahoma born, Nashville and Knoxville raised. Brief stint in Santa Cruz and Atlanta since late ‘93.
Do yourself a favor and visit KMD’s Bandcamp page to download The Fever Returns. It will add some aural joy to your life and bring out positive and much-needed 2021 vibes.
Also, please consider contributing to Save Our Stages to keep all our favorite venues afloat during the pandemic.
Categories: New Music