Dirty Heads release album worthy of their name
Huntington Beach, Calif., group Dirty Heads mixes hip-hop, reggae, and rock along with a laid-back SoCal attitude that follows in the footsteps of Sublime (now known as Sublime with Rome). The vibe follows through on Dirty Heads’ new self-titled album via Five Seven Music, featuring the summertime smash, ‘That's All I Need,’ which is currently No. 18 on the Mediabase Alternative airplay chart. Billboard recently premiered an exclusive look inside the making of the song, which the band describes as a “throwback kinda ’90s hip-hop vibe with a little bit of Southern California.” As the single impacts the alternative radio Top 20, Dirty Heads is preparing to perform the “feel-good” tune on national TV during an Aug. 3 appearance on NBC’s Today Show.
While most bands issue a self-titled album as a debut release, Dirty Heads decided it was better to wait for a project most deserving of the moniker. The band found their fifth studio album was worthy of their name. The “total culmination of their signature sound” draws on the alternative rock, hip-hop, folk, and reggae sounds from past albums as a way to create something “elevated and exciting,” according to a label news release.
The band worked on Dirty Heads with top multi-genre producers including Da Internz (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj), Drew Pearson (Katy Perry, Zac Brown Band), David Kahne (Lana Del Rey, The Strokes), and Jimmy Harry (Madonna, Diplo). The diversity of the production is described as “a true testament to the Dirty Heads versatility,” creating an album that serves as “the perfect playlist for both Day and Night.” The first half of the record offers fans the “perfect summertime fun playlist,” while the second half offers a “mellower vibe, reminiscent of a relaxed summer night with friends.”
“With this album you can expect the pure Dirty Heads sound at its finest—a perfect blend of hip-hop and reggae,” says lead vocalist Jared Watson. “We have songs that range from summer anthems, songs you can vibe out to, and songs that really challenge you to think further. It’s everything the Dirty Heads stand for and what we’ve become up until now.” Watson adds the band chose to curate the new playlist for their fans.
Dirty Heads is the follow up to 2014’s Sound of Change, which debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and topped Billboard’s alternative albums chart. The album’s lead single, ‘My Sweet Summer,’ was a No. 3 hit at alternative radio, while the title track reached No. 22 on the alternative chart. An album summary posted on DirtyHeads.com notes a review by Esquire magazine finds Sound of Change “brimming with the kind of catchy hooks that keep you plugged in for both their complex tones and cheerful breakdowns … we want seconds of whatever this pop/dance/rap hybrid is serving up.”
Dirty Heads are currently supporting their self-titled new album by touring U.S. venues and festivals with Sublime with Rome, Tribal Seeds, and Bleeker. Dates through August include Belly Up in Aspen, Colo. (Aug. 15); the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo., with Kongos, The Expendables, and Katastro (Aug. 16); Ciderstock in Middlebury, Vt. (Aug. 20); Legends Valley Music Festival in Cowichan Valley, BC (Aug. 27); and the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas (Sept. 23).
Watch Dirty Heads in the official music video for new single ‘That's All I Need.’
As A Matter of Fact…
* Dirty Heads formed in 2003 when Huntington Beach, Calif., friends Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell and Jared “Dirty J” Watson began to collaborate on a band project that focused on “positive vibes and infectious grooves.”
* Percussionist Jon Olazabal was added to complete an acoustic trio version of Dirty Heads, playing shows and building an audience. The group signed with Warner Bros. and teamed up with producer Rob Cavallo to record debut album, Any Port in a Storm.
* The recording sessions for Any Port in a Storm included working with drummer Josh Freese (Weezer, Devo, Nine Inch Nails) and one-time Beatles collaborator, Billy Preston, who laid down one of the keyboardist’s last recordings before his death in 2006.
* Dirty Heads debut album, Any Port In A Storm, was released in September 2008. A deluxe edition of the album followed two years later, featuring the breakout single ‘Lay Me Down’ with special guest Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome. The song topped the Billboard Alternative Songs chart for 11 weeks during the summer of 2010.
* In June 2012, sophomore album Cabin By The Sea followed with the Top 15 alternative hit ‘Spread Too Thin’ and No. 29 follow up, ‘Dance All Night’ with Matisyahu. Dirty Heads began a “musical metamorphosis” in 2013 with the acoustic album Home – Phantoms Of Summer, which was further embodied in 2014’s Sound of Change.
* Dirty Heads currently records and tours as a six-piece outfit that includes Watson (vocals), Bushnell (vocals, guitar), Olazabal (percussion), Matt Ochoa (drums), David Foral (bass), and Shawn Hagood (keyboards, vocals). Guest contributions have included Del The Funky Homosapien, Matisyahu, Rome Ramirez (Sublime with Rome), and guitarist Slash.