Danny de la Matyr “Crybaby”
Dallas native Danny De La Matyr has been widely praised last year. Jody Stephens (Big Star) said “Crybaby is a beautiful record. Danny’s voice is soft but emotive, in part because of his sweet melodies.” Danny has mentioned his favorite artists are Paul McCartney, XTC, Todd Rundgren and his LP made quite a few “best-of” lists, so I sought it out.
Crybaby starts with the Big Star-ish mid-tempo “Drift Away” and the acoustic “Waterslide” which makes good use of Danny’s hushed vocals. But the slow building gem “How Can It Be?” is very similar to Paul Bertolino’s 70’s influenced style. The jangling guitars and echoing “Lines” bring to mind Dwight Twilley at his melodic best. Other gems include the Beatlesque “Skeleton Key” and the brilliant key track “Misfire” which is one of the better songs I’ve heard this year. The anthemic “Fade To Grey” has an Elton John feeling to it. The rocking guitar also comes out on “Rippin’ my Soul Out,” overall a great album that also could’ve made my list last year. Highly recommended.
Luke Fitzpatrick “Sun Songs”
Sydney based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Fitzpatrick is a power pop fan who draws inspirations from The Beach Boys, Phil Spector, and Todd Rundgren. Each song is 2 minutes or under, done in a DIY bedroom pop style, as “Through” layers vocals, piano and hook-filled riffs. The lyrics are as simple as any from the golden era of rock and roll as heard on “Don’t Forget About Me.” Fitzpatrick has a method of establishing a simple verse-chorus couplet that burns into your brain, like the catchy “Tell Them.”
The limitations of this style are apparent midway through, as the tempo and rhythms of the songs tend to blend together, and it sometimes feels more like a demo or sketch, for example, “Chance is Gone” just begs for a fuller production. Still, this is a fun set of music sure to impress power pop fans looking for melodic ear candy. Oh yeah, this is also a FREE download, so no excuses!