Darian Reneé – The Other Side of Someday by Tom Payne

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Unsigned
Released: 23rd September 2014
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/darianreneemusic

1Band line-up:

– Darian Reneé

Tracklisting:

1. Close
2. Partners in Crime
3. Sleepwalking
4. Other Side of Someday
5. Good Enough
6. Can’t Stop Us
7. Wallflower

Review:

The Pacific Northwest’s dazzling singer-songwriter, Darian Reneé, returns with her sophomore EP, The Other Side of Someday: a 7-song, 26-minute follow up to her self-produced debut, Only the Beginning, which combines dub-like synths with a huge pop vocal. The 20-year-old Idaho resident worked for this record alongside producer, mixer, and ex-vocalist of Utah’s post-hardcore quintet, Get Scared, Joel Faviere, and it sees her rapidly gaining momentum with an ever-evolving sound driven by the committed pursuit of dreams.

While serving on the side as a ghost writer and producer for other artists, as well as running an active YouTube channel showcasing regular covers of chart hits, the committed start-up cites influences such as Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera, and Beyoncé. These offer apt starting points from which to grasp her characteristic style, however rather than re-produce the pop ballads of her debut, save for her vocal this release is barely recognisable from such roots. The emotion, the melancholy, and perhaps most strikingly the piano and acoustic six-string are all but removed from this latest effort. Candid lyricism supported by energetic, catchy, and upbeat synths instead adopt centre stage, offering a glimpse into an independent young woman’s rebirth.

In a sense, this is a vastly more mature record, layered harmonies making way for chart anthems. You feel like this was the record she wanted to produce back in 2012, but that she has at long last overcome a great hurdle. A sentiment echoed when, concerning the theme of this record, Reneé has said “people say “someday…” about things they want to accomplish way too much. The Other Side of Someday is where you would be if you actually just went for it and ended up on the other side of your dream.” This EP, then, is a leap of faith. A leap which has never sounded so coherent, dancy, and quite simply feel-good.

The EP kicks off with the record’s first hit single, “Close”. A buoyant, yet grimy number filled with romantic attachment and featuring a heavily modulated vocal alongside a pumping drum machine. Follower, “Partners in Crime” reeks of a Beyoncé-esque work, with a clap-along beat and such phrases as “baby boy we could be partners in crime”. This is much more than a catalogue of typical, ten-a-penny, out-of-a-can pop tunes, though, with the sombre, “Good Enough”, exemplifying this young woman’s talent. The curtains close with “Wallflower”, a heads up to her humble debut beginnings, with the soothing serenity of a finger-picked acoustic accompaniment to angelic vocals.

While Reneé is currently only doing small tours along the American West coast, the limelight is surely not far away for this imminent headliner. Expect major radio airplay to follow shortly: the underground is not a fitting place for this lady.

Review By Tom Payne
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