Over the years we’ve heard about all sorts of songwriting challenges, but Dave Thomas Jr. developed one that is particularly admirable. He’s recording a new song every week of 2017. One of those songs was so good it won our #NewMusicFriday Episode 52. As we set out to learn more about him, this project stood out as a truly remarkable achievement.
The winning song “Making Mistakes and Wasting Time” is a contemplative acoustic anthem that will sooth your soul. It reminds me of something from Caedmon’s Call back in the 90s. I say that with utmost nostalgic admiration. The melody is soothing and layered recorded vocals works to bring home the comfortable style. It’s ultimately about living a full life and we can definitely embrace that persepctive.
Early in the process Thomas’s “We Belong” came out as a live recording that really resonates. The electric guitar with a relaxing style allows his quality tenor vocal to rise above the track. It’s such a wonderful color balance, it’s hard to believe that it’s not a big production recording. We hear all sorts of major label releases that don’t capture the heart and emotion of this seemingly “simple” recording.
The song “Can’t Tell You” on keys reminds me of a tamed out version of Bon Iver. That is all the elements of Bon Iver you loved before it got just a little too weird. The soulful vocal laid over a relaxing chord progression works really well. The lyrics are like a love letter, making the intimate performance feel even more visceral and appealing.
In a similar vein, “Lost at Sea” highlights Thomas’s sensitive songwriting style. The lyrics are similarly soft and gentle, but the keys are a bit more complicated here. It’s a song that you’ll find interesting with a mesmerizing calming effect.
More recently, “You are in my head” has an uptempo guitar base to it. Of course just because the tempo is upbeat doesn’t mean the lyrics will match. It’s actually kind of a tragic story. The Randy Newman style unfolding story really works on this track. It shows Thomas’s versatility and ends up being a song you can really enjoy… and fitting of our national mood (for us Americans).
Thanks for checking out Dave Thomas Jr. It would be really rad if you’d give him a follow on his socials and especially his YouTube page. He’s putting out premium content all the time. We’re hoping to set up an interview with him sometime soon, so keep your eye out for that one. Cheers!