Mike Scheidt's upcoming solo album, Stay Awake, is probably going to surprise fans of Scheidt's classic Oregon doom metal band, YOB. This is a delicate, acoustic affair, with Scheidt crooning rather than bellowing. In fact, you could even say Scheidt sounds a little Cat Stevens-y on "In Your Light," the video for which appears above. With folky guitar strumming, gentle piano chords, and near-whispered singing—plus some airy, choirlike backing vocals—this is a long way from YOB's sturm und drang. But as the song proves, and the video even more so, that elemental connection to earth and nature, which is such a backbone of YOB's work, is front and center in Scheidt's solo work as well. He proves he's not just capable of powerful metal, but subtlety as well, indicating his diversity as a performer.
Stay Awake comes out on Thrill Jockey on June 12, and Mike Scheidt will perform a record release show at Mississippi Studios (3939 N Mississippi) on Friday, June 29. He also performs tonight at Bell House in New York City, if that's where you are right now.