Waltzes to your college experience

Dent May, a Jackson, Miss. native, creates a unique twist on Lee Hazelwood in his debut album, “The Good Feeling of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukelele.” May’s bespectacled face and nerdy sweater vests allude to his good-natured sensibilities, recalling the simpler days when pop music was fresh and local church dance raves were considered a jolly good time.As the title indicates, May’s go-to-instrument is his ukulele, which complements his unique vocal styling so well one would think they were made for each other. Backed by a combination of drums, pedal steel, violin, horns and bass, May creates a mix of sounds that can be compared to a ’50s barbershop quartet, early twentieth century swing and Caribbean steel pans. As for his lyrics, they couldn’t be any farther from his influences. Each song can in some way relate to the life of an average college (or post-grad) student. In “College Town Boy,” the chorus verbalizes a narrative we can all sympathize with, “College town boy/Get off your ass and do something/College town boy/How does it feel to be nothing?” “You Can’t Force a Dance Party” also caters to the college lifestyle with May’s lamentation of not being able to start up a dance party for his true love. “I’m an Alcoholic” is soon to be the college students’ anthem of the year, for reasons too obvious to state. It’s almost corny.With catchy beats you can waltz to and crooning vocals, May channels Stephen Merritt’s (the Magnetic Fields) silly yet expressive and endearing lyricism as well as his ability to create a narrative dance-pop structure.Once you give this album a listen, you will surely feel the explosive urge to slick back your hair, grab your sweetheart (in her best poodle skirt) and take her down to the dancehall for a wholesome night out.