Mike Huguenor recently crashed into the DIY punk scene as a solo artist with a few ambitious singles, one boldly titled “Mitch McConnell’s Funeral.” Because of this—plus his history as a guitarist in Jeff Rosenstock’s band, and playing alongside icons like Mike Park—he was immediately welcomed. His debut solo album X’ed is finally here, and it’s like nothing else.
On a mission to prove the worth and infinite possibilities of guitar music, Huguenor made the album solely out of guitar sounds. Leading up to its release, he put together a playlist of some songs that influenced the album, and provided some insight to how he was inspired. “I like songs that take you some place you’ve never been before,” he shares. “Somewhere where the light is a little different, and a scent lingers on the air. On the other hand, I also like songs that bang. Like a true Gemini, when working on X’ed, my goal was to try to do both at once.”
Of the track list he compiled for us, he continues: “The songs on this playlist were often the ones I listened to as I biked to and from the studio each day, the inspirations I hoped to take in and filter through my guitar. At least, it’s the ones that were on Spotify (unfortunately, the Shinobi III OST was not).
“All of these do something either rhythmically, melodically, or texturally that I’ve never really heard anywhere else,” he continues, specifying how these songs influenced his record. “Many of them are the result of artistic collaborations, beginning with the spazz-zen of Danny Brown over Paul White (a by-now classic combo), and ending with a song by drummer collective Ghost-Note that morphs from prank phone into massive dancefloor celebration of human fragility. The free-funk odyssey ‘Sun Watcher’ comes from New Grass, Albert Ayler’s lone foray into pop music, and ‘Relance,’ the impossible collection of parts that somehow hangs together, from the end of Gal Costa’s run as Brazil’s freakiest superstar, just before she transitioned to smooth bossa-pop. Plus, you gotta have some E-40.”
X’ed is out today on Lauren Records—order it here.