THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2012 |
Posted by: Malcolm Donaldson
In a career that is already encroaching a decade, Daniel Rossen hasn't released a single poor song. His songwriting and guitar work with Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles is unlike anything around, something thats hard to say in this music-saturated climate. It seems that he's careful with his music, only releasing material once he is sure that its absolutely ready. Rossen's first solo album, Silent Hour/Golden Mile keeps with his musical ethics. The five-song EP is purposeful, elegantly and uniquely beautiful, and strangely indefinable.
In five songs, Rossen proves his range in a way that would take a lesser band several albums. Each of the songs adds something new to his solo effort-- "Golden Mile" proves his powers of classical orchestration, while "Saint Nothing" aptly includes nothing more than a piano, vocals and quiet background flourishes. The content of Rossen's music unwraps in layers-- coming across first in his inimitable guitar playing, the strange sounds, effects and unusual horns and strings. Under the surface of excellent production are lyrics of isolation sung in Rossen's unique tenor. "A lot of this music comes from exiling myself in a strange way" he said in a recent interview with Pitchfork. And it comes across in his obtuse lyrics, "Silent song / is how you're living / silent song / never feel, I know this world."
The only issue with this EP is that it's too short. Rossen proves on Silent Hour/Golden Mile that he's comfortable on his own as a musician delivering us pieces, and subsequently leaves us craving the whole pie. His songs sound like objects of nature, not held down by this era of music. Although this is his first solo effort, it hardly feels like something new.