Shaun Fleming is Foxygen’s drummer, but his solo work as Diane Coffee has always been more compelling. Referencing the polished shine of glam and the operatic rock of the ’70s and early ’80s, Coffee has always had a flair for the theatrical (check out the Bowie-esque cover of his soulful debut album), which is hard to channel completely when you are solely responsible for rhythm in your main band.
Perhaps his interest in performance and operatics stems from his early work as a childhood voice actor (he appeared on Kim Possible among other shows), or perhaps it was just the natural upshot of his itinerancy, keeping himself entertained. While his first album was written partially on an iPhone during a trans-continental trip, Coffee’s new record, Everybody’s A Good Dog, was recorded while the musician moved from the biggest city in the country to Bloomington, Indiana.
What we hear on his new track, “Mayflower” is a mix of folky reflections and big triumphant sounds — the introductory horns announcing that Coffee is the new young king of the midwest, unafraid to dial back his flair. Consequently, there is also something very soulful about his deliver and even doo-woppy; the “ooh la la”s in the background of the track are surprising but totally work, a testament to his kaleidoscopic taste.
Nerdist also caught up with Diane via email before premiering “Mayflower” to hear about what it was like to record his new album, and what TV shows he was binging during that time period. Check it out below.
Nerdist: What TV Shows did you binge in the course of making the new record?
Diane Coffee: I think around that time I was simultaneously powering through that Sherlock Holmes show on the BBC [Sherlock] and being severely let down by the fact that Serenity was all that was left after the Firefly series.
N: If you had to describe the record in four words, what would you say?
DC: Fun for all ages.
N: If you had to dance to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
DC: Right now I’m gonna say OMC’s “How Bizarre”. I forgot how amazing that song was… And the video is boss. How could you NOT dance?
N: What music were you listening to while recording?
DC: David Bowie, Joe Cocker, Meatloaf, the Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack… A lot of big theatrical music.
N: What ingredients are in your ideal burrito?
DC: Black beans, cheese, eggs, potatoes, peppers, bacon… Sriracha on the side.
Everybody’s A Good Dog releases September 4 via Western Vinyl.