If I woke up to the sound of "In the Sadist's Garden" I would be terrified. Not because of the song's title but because the song is the sort that demonic ghosts put on record players to haunt the living. It makes my skin crawl. James Friley, the solo artist from Lexington, Ky., sometimes sings in a drone that evokes Calvin Johnson in Dub Narcotic, only not quite as forcefully affected. Friley gives his newest album melody that could be mistaken for a 1950s pop song at a slow dance. But, again, it's just ghostly enough to feel like something is amiss. It's sugar laced with arsenic. It's an a cappella choir with a murderer in its midst.
It's also a playful album, like if the television musical "Glee" was directed by David Lynch. I can see Nick Cage singing "I Want the Night to Stay" with a smirk on his face and the log lady dancing in the background. Or it's like if "Grey's Anatomy" did another musical episode where a coma induces visions of singing doctors.
Paddywhack is a fun album to listen to, especially if you're a late-night artist—danceable but mind-altering, sparkly if you want to hear it that way, dark if you listen closer.
Idiot Glee plays Zoo City Apparel Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9 PM with Shahs and Modality. $5.