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Song Premiere: "King of Nothing" by Danny Newcomb & the Sugarmakers

Danny Newcomb and the Sugarmakers
28 November 2017

Danny Newcomb & the Sugarmakers; Photo courtesy of Danny Newcomb & the Sugarmakers

Seattle-based rock ‘n’ roll/power pop band Danny Newcomb & the Sugarmakers’ new album All the Way comes out nationally on December 8th. The LP includes Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) playing lead guitar on a track, and features a gleaming batch of songs that are hooky, well-crafted, and driven by melody and guitar. According to John Richards of KEXP, “Seattle sounds like Danny Newcomb. His voice and these songs are where we are now and where we’ve been.”

Such a song is the lyrically bittersweet “King of Nothing” (with McCready on board), which The Big Takeover is excited to premiere here. It’s full of flowing to glowing red-hot guitar lines and other sweeping instrumentation that supports Newcomb’s gently sweet and expectant vocals.

Newcomb reveals, “King of Nothing” is about suddenly realizing that the woman you love is leaving you, seeing that iceberg, going all engines full astern and hoping that you saw the abyss quick enough to still be the ‘king’ of ‘something.’ There is an understated apology in the song, almost as if the king feels more sorry for himself than anyone. Not a good sign, and he’s taking on water.”

“I wrote this song liking the contrast between the minor (mopingly sad) to major chords (self-important) in the chorus. My old friend Mike McCready sits in on lead guitar on middle and end, weaving a couple different melodies around the vocal, throwing in some shreddies at the end. He was being funny that day, a little effervescent. I think we did four takes. So far it’s been one of the best live songs off the new record.”, Newcomb concludes.

All the Way was recorded with John Goodmanson (Sleater Kinney) and mixed by Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Brandi Carlisle). Newcomb goes into the details of the album, explaining, “I wanted to make a record that was a little darker than where I had gone before (including bands Goodness and the Rockfords). Of course, there are always the songs — love, chocolate cake, and desire, that dictated where I went in the end. Ultimately, the record is about redemption.”

Danny & the Sugarmakers, his band, have been performing throughout the Northwest in the past three years, drawing bigger audiences and getting attention from local press and radio. KEXP’s Kevin Cole has compared Newcomb’s album Materwish to the Posies and Matthew Sweet and The Seattle Times had a feature article on the cover of Pacific Magazine, calling Newcomb, for better or worse, “a guitar hero.”

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