B&E: Mike Doughty
Breaking & Entering: A look at acts breaking at radio and retail and entering Billboard charts. This week: Mike Doughty.Profiling acts breaking at radio and/or retail and entering Billboard's charts.
The third time is definitely a charm for Mike Doughty. His third solo album, "Haughty Melodic," is the first credited solely to the former Soul Coughing frontman to appear on a Billboard chart, debuting at No. 8 this week on the Heatseekers list.
Soul Coughing, which split in 2000, also found success with its third album, "El Oso," which featured its biggest modern rock radio hit, "Circles."
The new album is a result of numerous trips to Minneapolis by New York-based Doughty to work with Semisonic's Dan Wilson, who not only produced "Haughty Melodic," but also appears as backing vocals and on keyboard. Dave Matthews, who released the album May 3 on his label ATO Records, makes an appearance on the album on the track "Tremendous Brunettes."
Doughty's first album with a full band since Soul Coughing's break-up, "Haughty Melodic" features a cello, trombones, strings and what Doughty describes in his liner notes as a "weird sound at the end of 'Busting Up a Starbucks.'"
Many of the songs present a combination of both despair and hope. "Busting Up a Starbucks" and "Sunken-Eyed Girl" offer world-weary lyrics amid catchy beats and handclaps. Conversely, on "Your Misfortune," Doughty's voice is more melancholy while the lyrics are encouraging as he urges, "I can be the right notion in the meantime/Warm you like the sunshine/Stand in the light, stand in the light."
In 2000, Doughty self-released his solo debut, "Skittish," which featured songs he was never able to record with Soul Coughing. He hit the road to promote the project and sold 10,000 copies within the first six months of his tour.
In 2003 Doughty followed up with a sophomore self-release, "Rockity Roll." A year later ATO offered Doughty a solo record deal and "Haughty Melodic" was born. ATO re-released "Skittish" and "Rockity Roll" last year as a two-disc set.
Doughty is currently touring the United States and has plans to appear at Dave Matthews Band's Island Getaway festival, set for July 30-31 in New York. The show will also feature Ray Lamontagne, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Black Eyed Peas, Barenaked Ladies and Jem.
An acoustic version of the "Haughty Melodic" track "White Lexus" is currently available for download on Doughty's Web site.