Words like “gentle” and “endearing” seem to come quickly to mind when listening to Daniel Rosenbush‘s music. The funny thing is, on first listen I had him pegged as “pop” but after listening more closely he bounces between alt rock, pop, and folk genres quite nimbly. Great tonal quality and well-delivered lines make for quality storytelling and delightful music.
The opener “Follow” reminds me of Courrier. It’s atmospheric and big at times, making the band feel larger than life. There’s definitely some funky audio tricks going on, but beyond that Rosenbush’s vocal quality soars in some key moments. Even the lyrics feel pretty epic – reflecting on cliffs and valleys and panoramic scenes. It’s beautiful and inspiring.
The second track “Lone Wolf Run” is a beautiful melodic folk song. The layered female harmony that feels purposefully distant does wonders to provide sonic depth for the track. The lines develop out an appropriately mystical intimacy. That is to say it’s clearly a deeply personal expression of love and concern and caution, but the listener doesn’t have the sense of knowing who it’s about exactly. It’s sweet. Oh yeah and the key line, “brother only love can keep your soul alive.” Amen to that.
Something about “World of Fire” reminds me of a hymn if it was rearranged with some sort of earth-shattering power. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear it’s a theological song. But what really makes the song “work” for me is the gorgeous harmonies. Seriously, they’re the most promising and captivating thing on the entire (really good) album. It’s about destruction and temporality (“a world of fire we dream of at night…”), but underlying it all is a prophetic urgency. Those who have ears to hear will definitely get this one.
Sticking with the fire theme, the short EP concludes with “Beauty’s Flame.” The guitars and beat feel a bit 80s, but we shouldn’t hold that against him. Diverging a bit from the other tracks on the album it has a much more overt worship element “Fire come down… I want the whole world to see what’s burnin’ in me.” That said, it’s confessional authenticity makes it a great choice for the album.
All told this is a great little EP from a clearly rising artist. It’s awesome to get a snapshot of someone in the midst of honing his craft. The songwriting is still developing its own identity and style. That’s a great thing. I’d love to hear a whole album from each of the four distinct styles heard here. Or, perhaps, a full album of the sound that will be Rosenbush (trademark). Maybe that will be on his full length album, which I’m already excited to hear. This album is definitely for fans of alt rock and pop music in he vein of Courrier and Pacific Gold.