Shawn Foree has come a long way from recording albums in his bedroom. A graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in American Literature, Foree at one point took out college loans to buy studio equipment so he could pursue his musical project, Digital Leather. As Digital Leather, Foree has become a well-received artist that not only tours internationally, but also has produced albums with labels like Tic Tac Totally, Shattered Records, and FDH Records. As a one-man band, Foree uses drum machines, keyboards and vocals to create a sound that echoes ’70s and ’80s synthpunk.
Making its premiere here on PopMatters is Digital Leather’s new single “Decoys”, fresh off his latest album, Modern Problems. His most personal album yet, Foree put Modern Problems together while grieving the loss of close friend and business associate Jay Reatard. Foree says of the album “this is personal stuff… I’m letting it all hang out.” And it appears that his honesty and raw emotion has resonated with critics, as early evaluation of the album has been extremely positive. Pitchfork said in praise of the work, “The album recalls the submerged, piecemeal anthems of early Guided by Voices and the hoarse-throated barnburners of Wolf Parade (see “Kisses”, with its chant-like vocal exhortations, and flat-footed drums thwacking through ringing chords). And the lyrics are actually pretty sweet…. It’s a kitschy, shticky, charming curio.”
Check out “Decoys” below, and look for Digital Leather’s newest album Modern Problems, in stores now.