Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. to race into DetroitWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s “The Speed of Things” and it’s almost like the faint scent of high-octane fuel and burning rubber wafts by.
OK, maybe it’s a whiff of jasmine and freesia — and a little sweat from all the dancing.
“Music has the same ability to immediately recall a moment or a feeling that smell has; it’s a powerful thing,” Josh Epstein wrote in an email interview with Toledo Free Press.
Epstein and Daniel Zott floored it on their sophomore disc, which raced up the New Alternative Artist Chart to debut at No. 5 last month.
“Beautiful Dream” is a mesmerizing opening track that seems to shimmer as it pulses along. Epstein and Zott sing: “I was in the backyard/ Trying to take a picture of you …”
“I had the most romantic dream I’ve ever had where I was walking through a garden with my lover,” Zott wrote from a tour stop in California. “It was warm and sunny and yet it was somehow snowing. I woke up and couldn’t get the feeling out of my body. The song was a way to preserve it outside of my head.”
The Detroit duo caught that elusive sensation with an audio snapshot complete with Beach Boys-esque harmonies over fused indie pop and electronic music.
“If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t on the Dancefloor),” the first single from the CD, is a catchy, synth-filled groove that’s cerebral. The chorus by the singer-songwriters: “You should know by now/ We’re just gonna keep on moving on/ We’re just gonna keep on moving on on the dance floor.”
“‘If you didn’t see me then you weren’t on the dance floor’ was a saying that we had on tour. We took it and threw it into a track called ‘Too Fat for Love’ and it worked somehow,” Zott wrote.
And it fit the theme of “The Speed of Things”: living at an accelerated pace in the age of instant information where everything is transient.
“‘[The disc is] a moment in time, and we want to do our best to capture it and preserve it so that someday someone might listen and be able to feel what it was like here in this moment for us,” Epstein wrote.
The two have had many moments since they began experimenting with music in 2009.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at game three of the American League Division Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics last month at Comerica Park.
“[We are] lifelong Detroit fans in general! Singing the national anthem was a dream come true for us,” Epstein wrote.
They haven’t met the driver whose name they adopted.
“We have emailed back and forth. He’s very nice,” Epstein wrote.
It’s no coincidence Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will be in the Motor City for an 8 p.m. concert Nov. 23 at the Masonic Temple’s Jack White Theatre. Tickets are $20.
“We will be home for the [Thanksgiving] holiday, watching the Lions and eating turkey and pie. It’s just tradition,” Epstein wrote.