The band Drugdealer, which is mainly an outlet for Los Angeles singer-songwriter Michael Collins, manages to make it seem like the pop-rock music of the nineteen-seventies never really went away but remaining in a blissful state of perpetual, gentle revision all the way to today. Their songs are earthy and earnest and locked in on the notion that the Jim Croces deserve as much veneration as the Bob Dylans when casting an ear back to tuneful forbears.
“Lip Service,” the new Drugdealer track, opens with a riff straight off of one of the Cars’ finely calibrated gems from the earlier portion of their discography and then lolls into a ridiculously catchy and plainspoken tune that, as a era-appropriate bonus, includes plenty of opportunities for Collins to sing the word “baby” with pining ache. Collins reportedly wrote the song with his fellow Angeleno Scott Archdale in fairly impromptu fashion, hashing it out in a studio session on the eve of Drugdealer’s first tour after COVID restrictions were loosened enough for clubs to open again. The resulting cut does indeed feel like breaking free.
In posting this new song on the band’s Instagram page, Collins writes, “Trickling out as many new things as we can this year.” On the basis of “Lip Service,” that’s an enticing promise.