Okay, “Half-Asleep.” From Huggable Dust, out May 20 on Absolutely Kosher.
For deep insight into the sordid trials and tribulations of Marty Anderson, esteemed frontman for Bay Area art-rockers Okay, I refer you to this excellent piece by Voice associate/friend/groomsman Garrett Kamps for SF Weekly a couple years back. Marty’s voice—a cracked, frail, disquieting, but inspiringly defiant thing—gets the point across pretty well. Following 2005’s double-disc extravaganza High Road/Low Road, Okay next month will unveil Huggable Dust, another inspired burst of merry-go-round-broke-down cacophony anchored by vocals that are tough to get used to and even tougher to shake off once you’ve warmed to them.
The killer here is “Half-Asleep.” As this quick Paper Thin Walls chat shows, Dust largely concerns itself with heartbreak, despondence, self-loathing—the classics. As Marty faintly croaks “I’m afraid/I’m no fun/I’m nothin’/I’m no one,” angelic backing vocals underscore the beauty he’s convinced he lacks. It’s the virtuosity with which he insists he’s right that proves him wrong.