We should forgive longtime Dillon Hodges listeners if it takes them a moment to adjust to the departure that is his latest musical brainchild, firekid. He establishes himself as an emerging singer/songwriter with Rumspringa, having already proven himself one of the elite flat pick guitarists of his generation, and immediately reinvents himself. You have to give him points for boldness and with the first single from the forthcoming record "Magic Mountain," you have to give him points for knowing exactly what the hell he was doing.
It's likely others have tried it but it's not obvious for a roots-oriented singer/songwriter to splice his songs with drum loops, electronica, and ambient keyboards. I wouldn't have believed it works had I not seen it onstage and now heard this first single but the music doesn't lie. The digital elements accentuates the hook of "Magic Mountain" and make the song sound massive but without burying Hodges' instrumental prowess. The organic elements vital to his earlier work percolate beneath the beats and an improbable juxtaposition morphs into an earworm. It's propulsive, infectious, and has only upped my anticipation for the full record.