With a creative team that includes Mick Jagger and Martin Scorcese, HBO’s music-driven period drama Vinyl has quite the pedigree. The action centers on a fictional record label and its employees in rock & roll’s pre-punk Seventies glory days, fueled by mountains of cocaine and unrelenting ego.
Predictably, the soundtrack is largely representative of the era’s music with the notable exception of its theme song: Sturgill Simpson’s “Sugar Daddy.” In contrast to the psychedelic country of Simpson’s 2014 album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, “Sugar Daddy” is fuzzed-out blues rock that wouldn’t sound out of place next to Foghat on classic-rock radio. Simpson slips into Howlin’ Wolf mode, wailing with agitated lust over a crunchy riff and stinging electric leads. The track continually mutates, ratcheting up the intensity until its explosive finish.
“Sugar Daddy” is the the first release from Simpson since Metamodern Sounds in Country Music took the world by storm with its trippy tales of reptile aliens and existential crises. He recently revealed that the much-anticipated follow-up album is already finished, but he’s planning to spend some time with his family before announcing an official release date.
For now, listen to “Sugar Daddy” above and when Vinyl premieres February 14th at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.