Sturgill Simpson's "Sugar Daddy", the theme for HBO's new series Vinyl, is here, and it's badass.
"Sugar Daddy" drips rock-and-roll ooze. It's a surprising departure from the traditional country styles Simpson explored on his first two records. It opens with a slow-tempo and big, reverberated guitars. The tone conjures up an image of a smoke-filled room where 70s rock stars are railing cocaine and being, well, rock stars. The second half of "Sugar Daddy" launches into fast, chunky guitar riffs.
The song creates an appropriate mood for Vinyl, a fictional series about the decadence of the music business in the 70's. The show is a collaborative effort between director Martin Scorsese, legendary rocker Mick Jagger, Terrence Winter and Rich Cohen. Actor Bobby Cannavale plays the lead role, the head of a record company that's about to go under.
Simpson is expected to release his third album with Atlantic later this summer. If the tone of "Sugar Daddy" is any indication, Simpson may make a departure from the traditional country sounds of his first two albums, High Top Mountain and Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Simpson has never identified himself as part of the country format, and his live show continually evolves to blend in rock and jam-based styles, so his new album could be wholly different from his previous work. Whatever it will sound like, it remains one of the most anticipated releases of 2016.
You can catch the premiere of Vinyl on HBO Feb. 14. Until then, take a listen to "Sugar Daddy" in the player below.