The stripped-down and fired-up sound of David Myles’ new album Real Love is tinged with nostalgia for classic rock and roll, but its arrival this week was announced by a most up-to-date method: animated GIFs.
While the guitar twang and railroad shuffle of the lead-in track Night & Day began perking up the airwaves in recent weeks, images of the bespectacled singer doing his best Elvis-style hip shaking in a red blazer and bolo tie began popping up in fans’ Twitter feeds and Facebook comments, usually prefaced by TFW (That feeling when . . .) and an expression of jubilation.
“It’s hilarious, because I basically just danced for five minutes straight, and tried not to laugh,” recalls Myles, who says the images came out of Real Love’s retro cover photo shoot with L.A.-based graphics whiz Mat Dunlap. “So I stayed dead serious, lip synching to the song, and and I’m sweating so hard by the end, dancing as hard as I could.
“Then we broke it up into all these GIFs, it’s just ridiculous.”
The look and the energy of even a silent moving image of Myles getting his groove on is a good prognosticator for Real Love, which sees him drawing on an era when pop songs were clean and lean, clocking in at under three minutes and relying more on performance than production.
Myles’ tuneful romanticism is instantly recognizable, whether he’s dipping into the realm of hip hop with frequent collaborator Classified, or collaborating with Latin Grammy winner Alex Cuba (who’s coincidentally in Nova Scotia this week for shows at the Carleton, Chester Playhouse and Wolfville’s Deep Roots). Versatility is practically his stock-in-trade, but on Real Love, there’s a real purity of vision at work, with the help of producer Daniel Ledwell and trusty cohorts Alan Jeffries on guitar, bassist Kyle Cunjak and drummer Joshua Van Tassel.
“I love folk music, and I love chill music, and I’ve made lots of it, but I really love the idea of trying to make people dance,” explains Myles. “It’s so hard! I kinda like the idea that as I’m getting older and now have kids, I’ve decided to embrace the rock and roll dance side of my career.
“I’m doing it in reverse, as I get older I realize I’m not too old to do this. It’s going to be really fun, and I’m not afraid to do it. So it’s kind of liberating.” [READ MORE]