Got A Girl – Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Dan “The Automator” Nakamura – have announced the July 22nd release of I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now, on Bulk Recordings. The pair’s enthralling debut album, sees Nakamura – whose innumerable, inimitable credits include influential production (Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon, Gorillaz) and membership in such visionary collaborations as Deltron 3030, Lovage, and Handsome Boy Modeling School – cooking up one of the most exuberant sonic confections of his brilliant career, a giddy and impressionistic setting for Winstead’s — known for her work in the films Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The Spectacular Now, and next seen in Kill the Messenger — sweetly detached vocal delivery and nuanced lyricism. Stream the single “Did We Live To Fast” now.
Winstead and Nakamura first crossed paths while both worked on 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the actor acting and the musician contributing to the score. Winstead – who counts Lovage’s Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By as “one of my favorite albums of all time” – approached Nakamura after a cast and crew dinner to let him know she was a big fan, assuming that would be that. “About a year later, Dan came up to me at the premiere and said, ‘We should do something sometime,'” Winstead says. “I was like, okay! I would love to! I didn’t think it was real.”
Right from the jump, the two seemingly disparate artists found they were both surfing similar waves of inspiration. Each were especially enthused by the daft, dewy and even slightly degenerate sounds of 1960s French pop, that uniquely Gallic soufflé of girl group soul, café jazz, lush arrangements and groovy eroticism.
“It was a meeting of the minds,” says Nakamura. “A kindred spirit kind of thing.” He sent a skeletal track to Winstead, suggesting she begin thinking of songwriting in terms of character and story. For the nascent lyricist, the task came with no little pressure. Winstead and Nakamura soon commenced writing together, collaborating on lyrics as they learned more about each other’s creative strengths and interests.
“I’ve had the fortune of working with a lot of very talented people,” Nakamura says. “When it’s right, it’s right. That makes it work really easily. Working with Mary is like working with Del (The Funkee Homosapien) or working with Damon (Albarn) – it’s really natural. It just works.”
I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now is surprisingly seamless, a perfectly realized union of atmospheric ambience and ambitious songcraft. The Automator is of course a master of genre subversion and experimental futurism, effortlessly transmogrifying hip-hop, psychedelia, found sounds, and all manners of pop and world music with his singular taste for prolix wordplay, multiple personas and conceptual adventure. For Got A Girl, he has assembled a rich, enveloping sound world all its own, with hints of Laurel Canyon folk, yacht rock, and sunshine pop stylized and synthesized through sumptuous arrangements, intricate electronics, and unfettered melodic invention. The sonic landscape calls up far flung locales both real and imagined, knit together by restless grooves, elastic dubby beats, and Winstead’s complex characterizations.