Dan Black is one of our favourite solo male popstars. If you haven’t heard anything from Dan Black before, you should start out with ‘Symphonies‘, his feature on the Bag Raiders’ ‘Sunlight‘, and most importantly our personal favourite ‘Cigarette Pack‘. His understated brand of electropop is sublime, its beauty lying in its ability to quietly yet effectively evoke a wide range of varying emotions from the listener. He returns with a brand new single featuring none other than popfools hero Kelis.
As the song starts it becomes clear it occupies typical Dan Black territory with some strings being the sonic foundations from which the song rises. When the chorus starts, at 0:57, there is a more recent-sounding EDM influence low in the mix. Lyrically, the song is mediocre. We like the concept but the structure of the song restricts the verses to only 4 lines each which is a shame. The genius line ‘could I be re-fixed?’ hits our sweet spot and the general theme of ‘broken people’ is one that deserves a much more thorough exploration. However the song is intent on repeating the line ‘the heart it never sleeps’ such an absurdly high number of times that it essentially loses its impact.
Vocally Kelis and Dan somewhat unexpectedly compliment each other so well. Though Kelis sounds gorgeous she doesn’t overshadow Dan at any point. The concept of the video – a ‘human time lapse’ shot in a single 24 hours on a Paris rooftop – is simple yet well executed if not quite captivating enough to really hold our attention. We like the song, but we do feel that it could easily slot onto debut album ‘Un’ without seeming out of place. Although we really do like the Dan Black sound, and in truth wouldn’t mind if his upcoming sophomore album sounded rather similar to his first effort, we would also like to see some evidence of artistic evolution with Dan taking a few more risks and experimenting more with different sounds. Nonetheless we still think this is awesome and are therefore rating the song a solid 8/10