We guess that in the UK 2010 will be partly defined by the TV ‘phenomenon’ that is Glee. The high-school underdog comes good musical drama has been a huge success, even although we find the whole thing like a bucket of overproduced nerdily-weak congealed saccharine puke.
We doubt if the name Idiot Glee was designed with the TV show in mind, but there’s certainly no harm in taking a word and using it to your advantage. Like a mournful psychedelic barbershop quintet with a hint of soul, his work (for it is a solo project) has a mellow dreariness to it, but we don’t mean dreary in a bad way. There’s a vague similarity in the music of Idiot Glee to a band like Summer Camp - it has a slightly downbeat, melancholic washed out quality that makes us want to throw around words like 'dreamy', 'wan', and 'nostalgic'. There are however similarities as well to the not-quite-as-funny-as-everyone thinks it is TV show. In a similar manner Idiot Glee has produced acappella songs and cover versions, but you’re unlikely to find overtly camp and colourful dance routines being filmed to them. Of particular worthy note is his minimalist, verging an ambient cover version of Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers and the spectral Beach Boys doo-wop of I Want The Night To Stay.
Idiot Glee is one James Friley from Lexington, Kentucky and for those resident in the UK you can catch him playing shows late August and early September in support of Women. A forthcoming EP is due soon in the UK, but for now you can hear some of his songs on the bandcamp player below as well as a video of his cover of Ain’t No Sunshine filmed at Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn.