Reviewed by Susan Lloyd
"...a very solid musical debut that is also fairly gutsy."
Back in April when GMA was in full force and twittering had become a significant thing in my life, I learned of a new artist named Danyew through the tweets of my friends attending GMA. They had seen Danyew play at a showcase and although I don't remember the exact nature of their posts, I do know that my interest was piqued. When I got the opportunity to review Danyew's debut EP, I took it out of sheer curiosity more than anything. And I'm glad that I did.
Danyew is named for it's sole member Phil Danyew. His talents are expressed in skillful songwriting, creative instrumentation, and innovative arrangements. Each song on the EP is unique, but the roots of the musicianship in each one binds them together nicely as a collection. Danyew uses a broad spectrum of subject matter ranging from the praise centered "Beautiful King" to the plea for and acknowledgement of our human connectedness in "Free Your Mind"
The EP is
a very solid musical debut that is also fairly gutsy. Danyew seems to be
carving out his own genre by producing songs that are marked by interesting
melodies, electro pop sounds, and very
sophisticated combinations of vocal and instrumental interplay. Danyew's voice is supple and free and seems to glide effortlessly through not so common vocal intervals.
The songs themselves are all outstanding, and stylistically they range from ethereal electronica to acoustic driven alt rock. "Close Your Eyes" is almost dreamlike with sustained synth, sounds, and a lilting melody while "Nothing without You" features the rhythmic strum of an acoustic guitar that reminds me of something one might hear in John
no question that the EP is deft at showcasing Danyew's inventiveness and
musicality. However while there are moments of beautiful poetry and imagery
in the lyrics, there are times when the wording is a bit awkward. For example
in the song "Streetlight" the line "you're shining bright
you're my streetlight" conveys a great idea through metaphor but the
wording just seems clumsy.
In general the beauty of Phil Danyews voice is enough to carry the EP and covers any lyrical flaws well enough for them to be no major issue. Because of Danyew's impressive musicianship and his outstanding voice, I'm impressed with this EP and definitely put him in the category of "ones to watch." His debut EP will continue to be part of my listening rotation, and I look forward to hearing what Danyew does with the space afforded him on a full length album.
Susan Lloyd is a professional photographer in Charleston, South Carolina who specializes in shooting concerts. She holds a degree in Music Education and has worked as a worship leader and as a youth minister. She is passionate about all types of music and enjoys encouraging and supporting bands who seek to glorify God. She also loves movies, animals, traveling, and making new friends. She and her husband have three kids and have been married for nearly 17 years. More info about Susan's photography can be found at www.susanlloydphotography.com or www.susieq3c.wordpress.com