I Dont Know How But They Found Me / iDKHOW is the latest project from Dallon Weekes, a key figure in the evolution of modern American rock music.
Formerly a member of Panic! At The Disco, his new project allows the songwriter a chance to channel his interests in auteur talents - think Prince or Bowie.
A duo - Dallon is joined by drummer Ryan Seaman - their terrific debut album 'RAZZMATAZZ' emerged to widespread acclaim, with the band landing huge TV spots in the process.
Clocking in more than 250,000 sales, iDKHOW are set to hit the UK later this month, playing shows at Reading and Leeds festival.
Alongside this, they'll hit Glasgow, before winding up the mini-tour at London's O2 Kentish Town Forum on August 31st.
Ahead of these dates, Clash spoke to Dallon Weekes about his musical bedrock for Foundations.
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Elvis Costello - 'This Year’s Model'
I bought this record when I was in my early twenties. I didn't know a thing about Elvis Costello, other than some of my favourite bands often seemed to cite him and his work as an influence. In particular, 'This Years Model' seemed to show up a lot by name. So I purchased it, not knowing what to expect.
I was awestruck upon first listen. "I don't wanna kiss you, I don't wanna touch.." ‘No Action’ slapped me in the face, and the record never stopped hitting. Every song had this bite and attitude to it.
I had never heard a record like this. The guitar was the supporting act! Bass, keys and drums were front and centre! The songs were incredible, and his band The Attractions, executed it all beautifully. After listening to 'Lipstick Vogue', Bruce Thomas took his spot as one of my all-time favourite bassists.
And this record became my gold standard for pop songwriting.
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Weezer - 'Pinkerton'
I first heard Weezer in my brother's car, on the radio, in the parking lot of a seven-eleven in 1994. This was at the height of Nirvana's popularity, and grunge was everywhere. Weezer came out with their blue album, and I was a fan immediately. They were so unlike any of the popular music I knew about at the time. So, I had been anticipating their second album for a while.
When it came out in '96, I rushed to the record store to buy it. I didn't even wait to go home to listen to it. I commandeered a stereo, and headphones and listened there in the store. I LOVED it immediately. The noisy production, screeching guitars, feedback. It was dark, gritty, and searingly beautiful. The awkward sexuality laced into the lyrics definitely struck a chord with my teenage brain. I was hooked! Everything sounded so broken, in the most wonderful way. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why none of my friends liked this album the way I did.
'Pinkerton' was ahead of its time. I feel like it took everyone about ten years to realise exactly how perfect of an album it really is.
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Ima Robot - 'Ima Robot'
This is a criminally underrated record. An early 2000s self-titled masterpiece that, for some reason, ended up flying under the radar of the public’s collective consciousness. When bands like The Killers and Franz Ferdinand were taking over, this record completely outdid any of their contemporaries. The songwriting and production was frantic, imaginative, innovative and fearless.
One track in particular (‘12=3’), is still my own personal holy grail when it comes to bass tone. Maybe this is another example of being ahead of your time, or just a case of not having that little bit of luck that everyone needs in order to find your audience. Either way, this is a record that should be on everyone’s playlist.
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Starlight Mints - 'The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of'
A genius band out of Oklahoma City. I’ve seen this record described as ‘chamber pop’. Probably because of how they use string sections throughout the record, but a description like that really doesn’t do this record justice.
The way these songs are arranged and produced is almost inexplicable. As if they we’re given a set of rules on how to make an indie pop record, and then made sure to break every one of those rules out of spite or something. Brilliant from start to finish, this is another gem that never quite had the moment that it truly deserved.
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Sparks - 'Kimono My House'
Sparks is a legendary band that has been helping to shape popular music for nearly fifty years. Their third album, ‘Kimono My House’ was my introduction to them.
I had always heard their name floating around in the ether, but for whatever reason, I never thought to seek them out. Fortunately I stumbled into an old Top Of The Pops performance featuring Sparks performing their song ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us’ in 1974. I was amazed. and a little upset that I was so late to the party.
A flawless album from top to bottom and a great place to start learning about your new favourite band.
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Catch iDKHOW at the following shows:
26 Glasgow SWG3 (support from Will Joseph Cook)
28 Reading Festival
29 Leeds Festival
31 London The Forum (support from Will Joseph Cook)
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