COURTESY MODERATE FIDELITY
Mr. Universe's debut is Everything's Good/It's Not Working, out now.
New Orleans songwriter Adam Campagna unveils a two-years-in-the-making debut as his Mr. Universe, building up his miniature pop cosmos with a few fuzzy guitars, some strings, a keyboard and a dusted-off drum machine. Campagna's fittingly titled Everything's Good/It's Not Working
(Moderate Fidelity) summons AM gold ("Goddamn"), power-pop ("Big Star Record," "Go"), and crushed bedroom-tape country ballads ("Party For Bridget," "Be the One").
Campagna celebrates with an album release show 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 at Sidney's Saloon
. Kristin Diable and Guts Club open. Stream the album via Gambit
Campagna's songs sink into a nostalgia for and comfort in those moments that pass us by, keep us awake at night or make us want to get as high and far from them as possible, and here he pulls at the bits of string left behind with his memories. And lots of heartbreak. So, you know, the makings of a good country song.
Opener "Big Star Record," purposefully miming "September Gurls," announces with a not-proud authority that "you've got to let yourself down before you ever feel fine." An anxious, propulsive "You Got Away" is tied forever to the one that did. "I miss you sometimes, but everything feels the same," he sings on "Goddamn" over a canned beat. "I miss those old times, but they're never coming back again."