Idiot Glee’s self-titled 7-inch EP is a gnomic four song effort of winsome, dreamy doo-wop that feels eerily akin to Brian Wilson. The group is the brainchild of Kentucky native James Friley, a Mormon who grew up playing classical piano at the age of seven.
Whether it’s the barbershop quartet sound of “I Want the Night to Stay,” or the 1950s prom dance vibe of “Don’t Drink the Water,” there’s a nostalgia and a charisma here that’s almost too good to be true. Take for instance, the haunting and nocturnal “All Packed Up,” which feels like something that might have played on the Teen Angel soundtrack. Of all the cuts on the EP, this is the one where Friley’s first-rate vocals are given the chance to shine. The gauzy “It,” borrows from the Jens Lekman playbook of crooning and minimalism, while still remaining decidedly Friley.
A borderline musical savant, Friley’s inherent skill and effortless swagger is what makes this EP so blindingly brilliant. If this is just the start, the music world is in for a huge surprise. Talent this good will not go unrecognized for long.
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