Dan Pearl is Sydney-based solo artist who recently released his debut EP entitled Salvador. It contains seven songs that he recorded, mixed and mastered himself and it contains a lo-fi quality that is acceptable and works on most of the songs. These songs have a unique quality to them. They sound like early Pavement, mixed in with Primal Scream while Pearl’s punk rock sounding voice sings or talks over the music. His voice is appealing as his nonchalant delivery is intriguing throughout. Pearl overemphasizes words and puts just enough stank on it to keep you interested.
One of the best songs on the album is the first one entitled “After the Glow.” He combines a lo-fi dance beat with the hum of a warm pad as he sputters out “And after the scene / A statue in a maternity dress / And sitting beside you I thought I’d never forget / All my regrets / And time spent admiring you.” The song is elevated a couple of notches by the vocal work of Julia Robins. When Pearl and Robins sing together it forges disparate voices into an attractive whole.
“I’m Here” sounds like it could have been on Pavements Slanted and Enchanted if you replaced Stephen Malkmus’ voice with Pearl’s. The song is a super catchy straightforward ditty that has it best moments during the chorus when Pearl declares “I’m here and I’m here / And I’m okay and I’m okay.” “The Starfucker” is not a Nine Inch Nail cover but rather it creates a more experimental canvas for Pearl and Robins to sing and talk over. The song is devoid of verse/chorus/verse structure but rather builds on a single idea. “We’ll Dance” is a discombobulated song that puts Pearl’s voice front and center. The music is secondary as it is often scattered but is held together with a steady drumbeat.
The closing song “Rockets” is another departure from some of the other songs. The song feels like it’s being played in the distance and it is simply guitar and vocals. It is pretty catchy overall and it felt like a good closer as there was some emotional resonance that wasn't apparent on some of the other tracks.
Salvador has some interesting ideas that were well implemented but I have to say I would have loved to hear the production value amped up by a couple of notches. Otherwise a lot of the songs are original pieces of work that are a good listen.
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