Shaun Fleming has been all over the pop-cultural map. In his past life, he was a voice actor on Disney shows like Kim Possible, he is a renowned didgeridoo crafter and more recently, he is known as the drummer in the indie-psych outfit Foxygen. But in October 2013, Fleming emerged from his upstage role at the kit and adopted a new persona, Diane Coffee. His debut album, My Friend Fish, was recorded over first two weeks of January 2013 while Fleming was sick with the flu, alone in his bedroom using iPhone apps for drum beats and detuning his guitar for a bass effect. Despite (or perhaps, due to) these DIY production qualities, My Friend Fish captures the late-’60s angst of youth with roaring lo-fi vocals and virtuosic guitar riffs, the entire album crackling, on the brink of exploding from the packed layers of its arrangement.
Fleming is back with the first tease of his sophomore LP, Everybody’s A Good Dog, out on September 4 via Western Vinyl. The premiere release, “Everyday”, already sounds like an evolution from his bedroom recording days of yore, a Motown-driven pop hymn complete with organs, hand-claps and a full-bodied choir to set the scene. In a recent interview, Fleming said he “gravitates to the theatrical,” citing influences such as David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Björk, and Kevin Barnes. The theatrics are present here, with Fleming wailing like a fervid preacher on Easter morning. “Everyday” seems to embody the full potential of Diane Coffee, artist and performer, making a long-awaited formal introduction to his congregation. Fleming’s opening lyrical phrase is “You don’t even see me though I’ve been here so long,” which seems poignant from his former perspective hidden in the background. Well, Diane Coffee, never fear, we see you now for who you are meant to be.