August Darnell’s swaggering alter ego KID CREOLE dons his famed fedora and gets back in stride with his first high profile studio album in over 10 years this Summer, ‘I WAKE UP SCREAMING’.
Darnell first came to prominence during the mid-‘70s in New York, forming Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band with his brother Stony Browder before producing a slew of eccentric projects for ZE Records including Cristina, Don Armando’s Seventh Avenue Rumba Band and Gichy Dan, as well as sporting his trademark zoot suit and fedora for the first time for the debut recordings by Kid Creole & The Coconuts. Signing on to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records and Seymour Stein’s Sire imprint, Darnell would become one of the ‘80s’ most unique and recognisable figures, scoring a brace of unforgettable chart hits mixing heavyweight tropical grooves with plenty of lyrical bite – ‘Stool Pigeon’, ‘Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy’, ‘I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby’ and more.
With cover artwork echoing his love of 1940s film noir, the new album explores the vibrant mind of Darnell with a variety of themes and styles. Opener ‘Stony And Cory’, riding a bump ‘n’ hustle rhythm, recalls the Dr. Buzzard days and the stormy relationship between lead vocalist Cory Daye and bandleader Stony Browder; the title track re-works an ‘80s Coconuts classic, ‘Ticket To The Tropics’ and trippy lead single ‘I Do Believe’ brings in themes of Greek mythology over a driving groove. Elsewhere, we find rousing ballads ‘Tudor-Jones’ and the life-affirming ‘Love Remains’, the Compass Point / Island stylings of ‘This Is My Life’ and madcap falsetto groover, ‘Attitude’.