Umphrey's McGee give a whole new meaning to mashups. That is, if the word mashup makes you picture your local hip-hop radio DJ struggling to fade "In Da Club" into "Big Poppa," you'll be pleasantly surprised by Umphrey's. As opposed to a guy hunched over a laptop, this is a group of experienced and talented jam musicians creating a real synthesis of sounds. "Sweet Sunglasses" is the latest from the band off the upcoming mashup album Zonkey - set for release November 11th - and it's here just in time for your Halloweekend festivities. For several years the enigmatic jam band has been crafting ambitious mashup-based sets at their annual Halloween concert. This track's blend of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" and Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night," with a little bridging help from MGMT's "Electric Feel," is simple and seamless. The kicker is that the guys create their mashups with all live instrumentation and no samples.
We had Umphrey's McGee keyboardist/vocalist Joel Cummins explain this specific mashup choice, "'Sweet Sunglasses' mashes up two songs that have a lot more in common with each other sonically than many of the other contrasting songs from Zonkey. The many layers of synths & vocals could only be mid-80's smash hits, though the lyrical themes seem to push in opposite directions: one is a plead, the other a warning. The end result is a danceable, infectious singalong that doesn't let up from start to finish."
Other Zonkey tracks released so far include "Electric Avenue To Hell" ("Electric Avenue" + "Highway To Hell") and "Can't Rock My Dream Face" ("Rock With You" + "Can't Feel My Face" + "Dreams"). Keep these crazy mashups on your spooky Halloweekend queue, and get ready for Zonkey on November 11th.