“All anyone wants to be is what they can.” \n \nIn an era when networked access to information is nearly universal and wearing influences on your sleeve is normalized, it often feels like everything’s been done. Which begs the questions: What’s the point of creating? Does the world need another still life of fruit? Another film about love? Does the world need another melody? On Raw Honey, his second album as Drugdealer, Michael Collins colors these existential conundrums with lush arrangements, memetic melodies, and a vulnerable tunefulness that tries to make sense of self-doubt and connected loneliness in our shared simulacra. Collins, who never played an instrument let alone received musical training in any formal capacity, began experimenting with sounds in 2009 after traversing the US on freight trains. After a few years crafting abstract sampledelia, he decided to forgo his experimental exercises in favor of teaching himself how to write a traditional song. In doing so, he made the decision to approach songwriting from the perspective of a listener, rather than a “musician.” In 2013, Collins headed west and enmeshed himself in the Los Angeles underground scene. It was there and then that he began collaborating with players in the orbit of Ariel Pink, over time crafting what would become Drugdealer’s debut album, The End of Comedy, a collection of sunlit songs as indebted to Laurel Canyon psych pop as it is Bacharachian orchestration. Raw Honey continues where The End of Comedy left off, with Collins leading an ace crew of collaborators to coalesce the spirit of Drugdealer’s classically modern pop. Built on the foundation of a creative partnership among Collins, Sasha Winn (vocals) and Shags Chamberlain (bass, production), Drugdealer is more a collective than band.