Has there ever been a collaboration more apt than Jad Fair and Danielson? The former was a founding member of pioneering art-fi outift Half Japanese, and built a cultish fan base crafting cockeyed rock songs that still demonstrated a clear affinity for pop melodies. And Danielson — both on his own and with The Danielson Famile — did a similar thing, several years later, writing songs that radiated joy and were centered on the kind of left-field melodies that burrow into the brain instantly and remain there for weeks.
The fruits of Fair and Danielson’s combined efforts can be heard on the forthcoming Solid Gold Heart. The collaboration is one of four Fair recently recorded — the others are with R. Stevie Moore, Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake and Strobe Talbot — after being named ‘Artist in Residence’ at the label Joyful Noise. The label will release all four collaborations as part of a limited edition box set, but you can buy the Fair and Smith collaboration separately through Smith’s label Sounds Familyre (you can place your pre-order here).
And why would you want to purchase Solid Gold Heart? One listen to the rollicking “Rockin’ on the Good Side” will answer that. A big, booming number, it opens with Fair declaring “We’ve got the power of love” before running through a list of personal rock idols (Among them: John Lennon, Daniel Johnston, Superman). It’s mighty and contagious, a good indication of the sense of joy and triumph that runs throughout Solid Gold.