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Here's where we find out which albums the DJs on The North 1033's student-run program Road Salt Radio are excited about each week!

Road Salt Radio Featured Album of the Week: Drugdealer

An album cover featuring a picture of a seated woman in the upper right corner and a seated man in the bottom left corner. Against a white background, black lettering above the man says Drug Dealer and below the woman it says Hiding in Plain Sight.

Drugdealer return with their third musical installment, Hiding in Plain Sight, an album that, rumor has it, was almost scrapped along with the band itself. Despite these claims, the album is here and it’s a killer.

With this new release, frontman Michael Collins leads the way on an album filled with mellow, chilled-out rock guitar that still gives room to other instruments and cool collaborations. There’s a persistent '70s rock sound that feels like early Costello, and it marks a new stage in Collins' songwriting where he says he’s learned to be more confident in using his own voice rather than hand vocals over to guest artists. Regardless, there are still some great vocal features in the album including Kate Bollinger, Tim Presley, and Bambina. It all comes together to make a work full of steady grooves peppered with solos and cool little licks from guitars, sax, trumpet, keys, and other friends.

Go-to tracks on the album are "Madison," "Valentine," and "Pictures of You," a personal favorite; Kate Bollinger takes the lead on this song accompanied by calm and clean guitar melodies in the background. The tune has already achieved new top song status on Drugdealer's Spotify, reflecting the comfortable spot the band has found with this new record as they continue to progress their sound and writing abilities.

Other songs on the album bring out the '70s rock/R&B sound that the band is leaning into on Hiding in Plain Sight. The sound is consistent but not overdone so that everything loses character. For a high-energy and fun jazz/funk track, listeners can check out "To Live and Drive in LA." For more of a classic rock feel, tracks like "Madison" and "Valentine" are guitar-driven '70s rock songs. For more of the classic funk/R&B sound, a song like Posse Cut fills that void with an immediately established groove thanks to its large array of guest artist features.

Tune in to Road Salt Radio weekdays after 9 to hear more Drugdealer, and listeners should check out Hiding in Plain Sight if they’re fans of St. Vincent, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Elvis Costello or anything with wicked saxophone solos.

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