185 Clingman Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
Scott McMicken has always thrived on switching things up. As a founding member of Philadelphia rock mainstays Dr. Dog, McMicken and his bandmates consistently explored new sounds and new ways of writing songs across 10 gleefully eclectic albums before their 2021 hiatus. While McMicken has quietly released solo projects via cassette and vinyl on his own label Press On Records, for his latest effort, he’s done something he’s only done once before: started a band. With Shabang, out March 31, 2023, via ANTI-, comes the debut album from Scott McMicken and THE EVER-EXPANDING, and he’s made some of his freest and most adventurous music yet: a wonderfully collaborative collection of songs that feel lived in and true.
Part Basement Tapes and Paul Simon, and part a globetrotting foray into progressive sounds, Shabang is some of the most exploratory music of McMicken’s career. There are elements of jazz, dub reggae, country, and bossa nova throughout these 13 tracks, each exuding the excitement of being in a room with several other curious musicians. Opener “What About Now” originally started as a folk-rock dirge but when McMicken decided to add some bounce to the rhythm, the whole thing opened up. Even songs that dig deep into personal conflict like “Reconcile” radiate with a joy that’s tangible and rocking.
“I’m constantly trying at all costs to avoid feeling like a singer-songwriter,” says McMicken. “I would like to create a welcoming place that we can share rather than trying to yank you into my inner world.”