I have never met Dominic Lavoie of Dominic & The Lucid but I imagine him as the nicest man you’d ever meet. He produces all kinds of cool albums for cool people, he jumps in and sings back up here or there. Everyone loves him. It only makes sense that he is likely to be the human embodiment of strawberry ice cream which is why I haven’t really been a Lucid fan. That groups output exists on a tier of existence so nice and comfortable I’ve never been there. It’s pretty and safe and all ages; music enjoyed by folks who have purchased multiple hacky sacks in their life.
I have no idea what went into the “extended hiatus of the band” referenced on the ShaShaSha bandcamp but it kept Mr. Lavoie by himself long enough to record one of my favorite local albums. The self-titled ShaShaSha album is filled with jagged sounds: the burbling that starts Clocks of Man or the weird synths and sound samples that become the high squeal kicking off 801 Thrice. The album keeps you off kilter with whirring and wizzing and the wrong instruments used the right way at the right times and this was 100% Lavoie. His voice and incredible songwriting skills act as a musical rolling pin to all the challenging elements and everything ends up stunning and smooth.
This is hypnotic psychedelia Donovon would be real proud of, from the whistling and clapping and ahhhing of the first song (Twin Brook Float) all the way through. His version of The Beatles If I Needed Someone doesn’t take it out of their realm, just shifts it into the post Sgt. Peppers/Magical Mystery Tour era. He shoulders the weight of a Beatles cover with suave strength and particular care.
You just can’t touch high points like City Mouse, where his songwriting and melodic talents fire together in a blinding display. When you finally pull yourself out of the lovely tangled haze of the sonic universe and harmony you catch lyrics like “City Mouse plays while the songbirds away…he wears the city like a crown made of thorns” and it’s shocking. The strawberry ice cream dude has this in him? Why didn’t I know this?! ShaShaSha sounds like non-Blind Melon fans listening to an album for the first time and realizing the hippie stuff was just window dressing and they were monsters at their profession.
Easy unassumingly flawless songs like Bookshelf are sitting inside this guy somewhere just waiting for the excuse to come out. On ShaShaSha he puts together super complex songs with lots going on that he does all himself but he also hits the targets center with the minimalism of that 60’s and 70’s influence. He serves those songs that feel tiny and end up enormous in your mind; that’s Bookshelf.
ShaShaSha grew membership by a thousand percent on the follow up EP VanDyke Brown which is a mess. Too many chef’s with too many recipes. You can tell it was headed in the wrong direction from the album cover https://shashashamusic.bandcamp.com/album/vandyke-brown-ep (the only picture honestly funnier than theVanDyke Brown EP cover is a picture you can find of Andre the Giant and Wilt Chamberlain carrying around a gleeful Arnold on the set of the my favorite Conan movie).
I have heard he has a new album with Dominic & The Lucid coming and I hear it’s fantastic. I hope it is. His previous Lucid stuff is proof that sometimes doing as much as you can to not be an A-hole makes you the biggest A-hole. I hope on this next album he pushes everyone else’s needs aside and says “Make room for Lavoie M*%#@%F*#$@#S!” No democracy. His singular vision, his professional IQ in music is so impressive I just want to pull up a seat to that. I know your dope Dom. You can’t hide it from me.
stream or buy ShaShaSha (only $4 dude):