Twang may not necessarily be in vogue these days, but lilting songs about growing old and broken hearted always seem to strike a universal nerve no matter the genre or locale from which they hail. Dougie Poole came from Providence to New York, originally crafting dissonant tunes that took cues from R. Stevie Moore and Arthur Russell, and took them into his own melancholy direction. But noise and anonymity eventually had a ceiling for Poole, and more earnest songwriting began to take shape, and that's how we arrive at something beautiful like "Less Young but as Dumb." The lyrical content of the song is right there in the title, casting a disintegrated Roy Orbison pallette in the modern age, tossing traditional country tropes aside in favor of modern delusion, coping, and loss. It starts like a lament playing in a broken jukebox, before the weirdness and vulnerability of it all places it firmly in today's world.
"Less Young but as Dumb" is taken from Poole's forthcoming LP Wideass Highway, out February 17 on JMC Aggregate. Poole is playing a record release show that day at Shea Stadium, Brooklyn, with Wolvves; tickets are here.