Singer-songwriter Sam Levin released “Dairy Queen Queen” a short while ago. Written while Levin was touring the West Coast, performing music from his three previous albums, including his latest album, A General Air of Regret, “Dairy Queen Queen” is the first of a series of new songs.
Levin explains the song’s genesis, saying it began as a “finger-picking chord progression that had a really cool vibe and energy. We stopped at a rest stop and I noticed this girl in passing, fell in love, bought something to drink, and then they gave me my change all in nickels. Back in the car that song almost wrote itself. ‘Dairy Queen Queen’ was born and I performed it that night two hours after I wrote it.”
Only 17-years-old, and a bit of a musical prodigy, Levin started playing piano and guitar at the age of 5, followed by releasing his first single at the age of 10. His sound, defined as “modern folktronica,” often conjures up comparisons to Courtney Barnett, Bon Iver, LCD Soundsystem, and Sufjan Stevens. Essentially, Levin’s sound is an amalgam of pop, Americana, and alt-rock fused with tasty jazz tinges.
His previous albums include I Am, Frame of Mind, and his most evocative creation so far, A General Air of Regret.
“Dairy Queen Queen” opens on soft shimmers of a guitar flowing into an infectiously smooth folk-pop-flavored melody topped by Levin’s rich, melodic tones. A rasping, scuffing rhythm enters, along with a tender aching electric guitar accent, infusing the tune with scrumptious textures.
“She got rid of all her nickels / She put em in the tip jar / A number four with pickles / A platinum fast food superstar / And i can’t do anything about it / She might’ve had a Pepsi / Or maybe Sprite I don’t know / When I’m on the road you see / I don’t know how far the people go.”
“Dairy Queen Queen” delivers tantalizing wisps of recollection as Levin reflects on a chance meeting full of possibility, yet now vanished.