Dent May’s latest album, Across the Multiverse, takes listeners on a journey that crosses through time and galaxies. Themes of modern-day heartache and romance, couched in a hybrid mix of early Beach Boys pop-rock and modern synth-y celestial effects, combine to create a unique easy listening experience. Paying a little bit of extra attention to the words being sung brings to light the beautiful and poetic juxtaposition of light tunes and heavy lyrical themes.
As might be gleaned from the album’s vibe, May’s bio indicates he is inspired by the tradition of musicians such as Beach Boy Brian Wilson, whose iconic songs explore themes of the unstable and painful sides of love. “Hello Cruel World,” “Face Down in the Gutter of Your Love,” and “I’m Gonna Live Forever Until I’m Dead,” in title alone, are great examples of the dark and honest themes that are sung alongside catchy and soaring melodies that have the ability to plant themselves in your brain and have you singing their sorrows while snapping your fingers and tapping your toes.
“Picture On a Screen” starts off with a classic dial-up tone and instantly captivating guitar. Ukulele is introduced just moments before May begs to know: “Picture on a screen, I love you, do you love me?” The song beautifully describes the desperation of a man obsessed with the image of a person, hoping that the image will materialize into the perfect person to make him happy, as he longingly croons, “reach out your hand to me.”
Each song on the album is unique and even though the songs are distinctively Dent May, they are wonderfully composed in ways that play with the typical compositions of the featured instruments. The cosmic sounds always ground the songs in the album’s vast theme and overarching scope – the titular journey across the multiverse. “Traveling pixels,” cell phone calls, and the computer in his room are some of the modernizing lyrical elements that May weaves into his songs, while creating a relatable sound that also reminds you of your grandparents’ music.