In real life, The Underground Man licenses music to independent films and TV, though by the charming acoustic pop of “Hey Love” you’d assume he writes commercial jingles too. It’s a concisely infectious effort with the swaying, full-bodied acoustic sound of Aztec Camera or early, more pop-oriented Sufjan Stevens efforts (“A Winner Needs a Wand“). “I won’t wait any more for your knock upon my door,” The Underground Man sings during the last bridge. “I won’t lie any more, and I heave on the floor like before.” There’s a dry sense of humor, though a painfully simplistic yearning as well.
While “Hey Love” was just released a few hours ago, the lusher “Knows Me Better” is three months old. It’s more of a throwback effort, almost hearkening to romantic pop of the ’50s. A distant reverb in the production helps to add to the nostalgic romancing, similar to Magnetic Fields throughout 69 Love Songs. More Aztec Camera comparisons, as well as those to more soft-spoken Housemartins and Jens Lekman tracks, are also a nice indicator. The Underground Man is presently underground and unknown, but don’t expect that to last.