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Music

Daniel Rossen continues solo success with ‘Unpeopled Spaces’

@TomTaylorFO
Daniel Rossen - 'Unpeopled Spaces'
8.2

It is a universal truth rarely publicly acknowledged for the sake of embarrassment that we all direct moody yet utterly drab movies of the mind when we walk down the street with headphones in. Some tunes are better than others at summoning such movies and Daniel Rossen is certainly a songsmith who keeps the scriptwriter guessing.

Usually, the plot evokes an idealised version of yourself simply walking down said street and very little else, but with ‘Unpeopled Spaces’ Rossen whisks you off to Spain with some reverb-laden flamenco guitar before dissonant notes shroud mystery into the mix and off-beat percussion pulls in unseen elements from nowhere. Contrary to how that might sound, the whole thing remains alluringly melodious throughout. 

In his work with Grizzly Bear, the frontman was far from afraid of mixing up a harmonious soundscape with a scatter of avant-garde touches, but rather than leaving a pretty canvas in ruin, the abstract flourishes simply brought atmospheric texture and originality. Evidently, in his ever so slightly sparser solo work, that same style thrives. 

The cinematic sonic mystery that asks, “Ten years gone, was it worth it?” and concludes cryptically: “We belong here now,” is the second single from Rossen’s first solo album, You Belong There. The track follows on from the almost Tim Buckley-esque debut single ‘Shadow in the Frame’, and both have hinted that a swirling, pushed and pulled down alleyways at dusk production style will remain throughout.

In short, there is a lavish literary feel to the track, as though it is soundtracking Franz Kafka on tour in some Ernest Hemingway style European retreat. While that might sound a little too much for some, when it catches you on the right whim it’s a muse that can add an explosion of wistful sonic escapism to your dismal daily life. Perhaps the only thing missing is some of their neck-snapping moments of prose.

You Belong There is set for release on April 8th with the multi-instrumentalist also due to embark upon a string of dates in North America and Europe in the interim, beginning in Austin, Texas on March 27th. 

You can check out the single below.