David Strange – “Lion Tattoo” (audio) (Premiere)

David Strange once said that “reality is inherently psychedelic." One listen to his track "Lion Tattoo" and you'll be able to see why.

On the surface, the tune “Lion Tattoo”, the closing number off of David Strange’s forthcoming self-titled EP, sounds nothing more like a graceful lullaby on fingerpicked guitar. If one listens closely, however, to both the subtle production technique and the lyrics (there’s talk of a boy with tentacles at one point), it’s easy to tell that Strange is, well, an artist that more than lives up to his name. Then again, one was probably already clued into that fact by one gander at the EP cover art — thank the heavens for strategically placed fish. Below you can stream this weird and delightful little song, which encapsulates an epigram of Strange’s: “Reality is inherently psychedelic.”

Strange goes into detail with PopMatters about the track: “Surprisingly, even though ‘Lion Tattoo’ comes last on the album, it was the first song we recorded. It seems that any time we go somewhere to record it starts by not getting any sleep the night before… so it went in the case of ‘Lion Tattoo’. We left the city bleary-eyed yet adrenalized sometime in the early morning. There was the George Washington Bridge and the city from a distance looking (like so many other things) more beautiful than it does from deep in the thick of it. Then there was snow, diners, Syd Barret on the playlist, frozen earth, wild turkey and deer. No sooner did we shake the snow from our backs and unload the gear than we were asking ourselves how to begin.

“Charlotte [Kemp Muhl, producer] has this nylon string guitar from the 1800s (same one I play in the ‘Lion Tattoo’ video). We had no idea how the session was going to unfold over the next few weeks but it seemed like that guitar and the sleeplessness and ‘Lion Tattoo’ were the way to lay the first brick. It was freezing so I wore what I think was a Mexican poncho or hippy blanket wrapped around me then played and sang the song about a dozen times. The hardest part was creating the fade out effect at the end which I did by slowly tiptoeing away from the mic while still playing and singing. Charlotte and our genius/mad scientist engineer, Andris Balins, did most of the overdubs that night while I slept and in the morning the song was pretty much the way you have it here.”

David Strange is out 20 January.