bastille + color palettes
Nature Under Constraint and Vexed → Sarah Manning
THIS IS THE RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT *agressively hits imaginary drum with imaginary drumstick* THE NIIIIIIIIGHT *flips table* OH YEAH-EHHHHHH *punches wall* THE RHYTHM OF THE NIIIIIIIGHT *smashes through the wall* THIS IS THE RHYTHM OF MY LIIIFE *jumps onto roof* MY LIIIIIFE *sets roof on fire* OHHHH YEAH *walks away in slow motion, like a boss* THE RHYTHM OF MY LIIIIIIFE
Dan Smith is a difficult man to categorise.
His songs flip, like the toss of a coin, from melancholy irreverence (“I love the opticians because it’s not your fault if your eyes are bad”, he sings on, oddly enough, a song called ‘Irreverence’) to tripped out, looped up, layered on symphonic beats. Yet what’s consistent throughout – and more so live, joined by a drummer and an aesthetically-pleasing (and talented) three-piece string section – is his knack for interesting lyrical twists and the depth of his musical ability, as well as his skill for entertaining an audience that, not necessarily here to hear him, hang on every unexpected note.
Vocally, he shares the occasional inflection with a certain Kate Nash – something bound to draw many comparisons to the overrated vixen, but which is unfounded and myopic. Yet there is more sincerity and heart in the first few chords of any of his songs than all of hers, and his voice contains no hints of affectation. On the contrary, his vocal acrobatics mean Smith is as capable of a quasi-Waitsian growl as he is of heartwarming, heartbreaking tenderness – as well as being able to sing at near impossible speeds.
More akin to the likes of the brilliant Mumford & Sons than anything else, his songs are symphonic yet understated, frenzied yet measured, complex yet played with ease. He suffers, at first, from a slight (and only slightly noticeable) nervousness, but is soon absorbed by both his music and the crowd’s reaction to it, even going so far as to stand on his stool and dance during the looping, final section of the final song. Certainly one to watch – not just in the future, but right now too.