Dan Yul – Underground
Were Dan Yul not to know all the pathways in and around a melody he’d probably be in big trouble with music critics. Then again, he would also be likely to just as well amass a loyal fan base consisting mostly of young females falling over themselves with Yul’s soft voice and brittle heart. I can only assume which of the two scenarios would affect him the most.
But, as things stand, in spite of a desire to blend in with the high-charting indie-folkies, Dan Yul is something else. The waltz of Underground comes stacked with gorgeous melodies, and vocals that glide, slide and drift away.
Like some of the best work from the 1960s, this sounds like holy circus music. It’s the kind of song that if played too many a legendary songwriter, prior to the tune’s official release, would get nicked. We don’t see Mr Yul making a Tom Waits record any time soon, but as poppy, as Underground is, it’s a beautiful, tender little piece of music.
Strong Work – Avant Garde
In case you haven’t clicked the song while reading this, don’t worry. This is not a piece of obtuse, experimental music. That kind of art doesn’t really like to define itself by the title alone. Rather than being called “Hitting things with a hammer” those usually have ill-fitting titles like “4:30” or “Revolution 9”.
Nah, Strong Work is more up our alley. This is the three-minute single we keep looking for like some kind of lost love. It’s clever, snotty, and may even get you out of your seat to do the jitterbug.
Being the clever single-songwriters that they are, Strong Work fills this baby up with every trick in the book. There’s a big anthemic chorus made memorable by the acrobatic vocals. There’s a synth solo. And, there’s even a sax solo. The kitchen sink does come off by the end of the three minutes, but it’s Ok. This is hit-single reverse engineering done well.