Killer Bee – Bluebird
It’s a cliche, perhaps, but rock and rap musicians tend to write about the good times either just before they’ve lived them or just before any of the consequences begin being felt. This is not just the fault of the rock and rap musicians for offering too little information about the full life of the rabble-rouser, but also the fault of the audience, always desiring to hear tales of people getting away with things that they would not be able to avoid.
From Dylan to Springsteen, the most bitter, heartwrenching songs have been quiet, calm, introspective in tone. They represent the moment right after the bottom fell out, and the artist’s thoughts on how to reassess their new surroundings. In short, sadness makes us all acquiescent.
The man behind this terrific, soul-bearing of a folk track claims to have written this material right after leaving prison for attempted bank robbery. Bluebird is a track heavy with the weight of the world. The vocals reminisce over simple acoustic guitar picking, but it’s the soul behind them that’s really something to see.
Daniel God Damn Byrom – Apple Bobbing
By the time he’d been asked to leave Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett was a legend. Fans and media were confident that even if the Floyd would not survive, the songwriter’s career certainly would. Two albums and one failed band later, interest in the visionary writer’s work had cooled. Only a few years later, with the Madcap now in retirement, an article written by Nick Kent would reveal that the public had grown intrigued with Barrett, once again, now that his performances had become a rare commodity.
The same sort of account can be found when talking about other music outsiders. Sure, the production values of Daniel Johnston’s early recordings did not endear him to record execs. However, the quality of his songwriting and his unwillingness to play by the rules turned him into a cult hero that many, more famous rockers wish they could channel.
Danny Byrom, on his project Daniel God Damn Byrom, draws from the brittle, beautiful, freakish folk of Johnston, or Mark Linkous. Apple Bobbing feels like a traditional song written by a child. There are few references to modern living and production values further emphasize the innocence and naivety of the recording. A welcome lo-fi experiment that does justice to Byrom’s influences.