The End of Comedy is the debut album by Drugdealer, a new project conceived and conducted by Los Angeles artist Michael Collins (formerly of Run DMT, Salvia Plath) who guides a group of Angelenos including Ariel Pink and Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) through a whimsical world informed by Jean Baudrillard, social media perception, Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western vistas and Collins’s endless travels.
The End of Comedy – to be released through Weird World on September 9th – is a collection of vignettes – lucid, lysergic and organic – featuring homespun explorations of Carole King-esque piano ballads, Bacharach-ian orchestration, the psych-folk of Ultimate Spinach and Hendrickson Road House and even New York City subway jazz, all pulled together by Collins’s deft AOR auteurship and keen sense of humour.
Throughout the record, Collins eschews the spotlight, in favour letting the ensemble shine. There are guest vocals from Ariel Pink (‘Easy to Forget’), Danny James (‘My Life’) and Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood), who brings Laurel Canyon balladry to the table on the album’s titular track. Not to mention a bona fide who’s who of Collins’s mates, including members of Regal Degal, Holy Shit!, Mild High Club, Mr. Twin Sister and pals from Mac DeMarco’s band.
All of these collaborators contribute essential bits and pieces that create the foundations of a beautiful, absurdist collection of songs that plays like a short film in which Collins journeys far and wide, popping in to various abodes, embracing friends old and new and casting a spell on them and us in turn.