Respect The Neighbors • Daniel Wilson
Daniel Wilson is a singer, and this is why you should care. He brings velvet vocals that are a cut above the rest, combined with garage rock, techno and whatever else may be inspiring him at the time. The first and last thing you notice is his voice. It’s what ties this very eclectic musician together, a perfect thread that never frays. Wilson's sound is almost primal in its emotion, exercising on-point vocal control and unabashedly embracing the cutting edge of music. Listening to Daniel Wilson feels like exploring.
His aesthetic is modern and fresh, with an array of electronic backgrounds to set his voice against. He chooses well, trading the equation of vocals + beat = track for what feels like a digital painting created in front of you. Each song builds on itself, stacking layers like guitar strings getting pulled into a chord one by one. A perfect example of this would be the beautiful slow-burn of his EP’s title track, "Boy Who Cried Thunder", his best or second best song to date.
Wilson represents his influences while still keeping them at arm’s length, Detroit written all over. The Michigan artist has a church choir background and was never far from Motown. There’s the aforementioned rock element, chords crashing out of basements against his more significant electronic bent, from a city well known for its hard-smacking techno. While his sound may be brighter than those late-night warehouse jams once sister to Chicago House, the same pounding drive remains. The contortions of his voice are such that it’s unclear where his vocals begin and the production ends.
He’s put out one project, a 2014 EP called Boy Who Cried Thunder. It’s 5 tracks but hard to pin down, not easily given to comparison and ranging widely in mood, attitude and atmosphere. The whole thing is 100% Daniel Wilson, ripping across your speakers with a complete uniqueness that can act as an identifier for those capable of changing the music landscape. His most recent joint is “Wedding Daze”, my new favorite song and maybe yours. It bounces with passion and melancholy, Daniel Wilson’s voice is revelatory and the beat is a whirlwind. "Wedding Daze" is more danceable than the latest party track and more human than forgetting where you put your keys.
We've said a lot about Daniel Wilson already, so let's end on the point that he has something truly special going on. He’s a futurist without the trendiness, an old-school, pipes-first singer without being a neo-luddite. He’s got a hell of a voice, and he is more than capable of flexing that. Expect him to continue to do so on his upcoming Sinner Of The Week EP, something we all owe ourselves to listen to.