After masterminding Southern soul classics by Sandra Phillips and Doris Duke, a ripped-off and fed-up Jerry Williams, Jr. hitched his wagon to the late-60s psychedelic trip. He became Swamp Dogg in 1970 and, buoyed by counter-culture radicalism and (reportedly) a little LSD, recorded Total Destruction To Your Mind: a warped Southern-soul doozy with bonkers lyrics. He wrote songs for Irma Thomas and Freddie North, of course, but Swamp Dogg’s outlier reputation stuck after further albums – and the soul anti-hero is still full of surprises. He’s back with an album recorded with Poliça’s Ryan Olson and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, which employs Auto-Tune (and drum machines) to pitch Swamp Dogg’s strange, ghostly songs about loneliness somewhere between Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak and a deep soul re-versioning of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme. If you’re in any doubt, this is a good thing.
Written by Chris Parkin. Released on Joyful Noise.