Chad Matheny has operated under the Emperor X name since 1998, amassing a discography that’s equally inspired by Billy Bragg’s gut-level protest music and the tape loop experimentations of William Basinski. Last fall, a week before the presidential election, Emperor X released “Wasted On The Senate Floor,” the first song from Matheny’s new album Oversleepers International, which is coming May 5 on Tiny Engines. Today, The A.V. Club is premiering the album’s second single “€30,000,” which mixes drum machines, acoustic instruments, and Matheny’s evocative storytelling into the kind of song that’s vintage Emperor X. At times, it feels like the spiritual cousin to Fred Thomas’ Changer, an introspective record that darts between styles, or maybe even less joke-laden Atom And His Package. “€30,000” is uproariously fun, even if it’s got a sing-along about carcinoma, which is one of those things that only Matheny could pull off.
Oversleepers International is out May 5 and is available for pre-order through Tiny Engines.