Dante Hadden may only be nineteen years old but he already has nine years experience with music. He started playing guitar at ten and writing songs at the age of thirteen. His recent release Waiting For Words displays a young man who has songwriting ability well beyond his years. He explores mature subjects like heartbreak, loss and hope through poetic lyrics and songs brimming with energy and life. The music is often cathartic and has an inner lining of melancholy and nostalgia.
The EP starts off with “Fall,” which is indicative of the vibe (excluding “Wayfaring Stranger”) that you will ride till the end. It starts with a powerfully strummed acoustic guitar and Hadden’s vocals. You can sense a rising energy as the song progresses and it does arrive. Gorgeous orchestral strings come into the mix along with a simple yet effective drumbeat. This was a clear highlight for me and it certainly was also a testament to Hadden’s songwriting ability.
Next up is “Only One Night,” which is covered in more melancholy. Hadden looks inward here and is more reflective. Towards the end of the song it becomes more intense but never goes overboard. Hadden infuses us with more triumphant energy with “Goin’ Down.” There is a forward progressive momentum here that will give your brain an extra dose of serotonin.
“Wayfaring Stranger” (a well known folk and gospel song) is the first real deviation on the album and it sounds excellent. Hadden’s voice is soulful here and all over the place. He drops the acoustic guitar in favor of synths and deep electronic drum beats. He sounds a bit similar to James Blake here. This is an interesting direction for Hadden and he pulls it off.
He ends with a beautiful, melancholy song entitled “Kiss Me.” The song is free of percussion and is a combination of orchestral string and acoustic guitars. It is a great way to end the album. Hadden has some thinking to do. His style is a bit scattered but he pulled off everything he attempted. It’s crazy to think that Hadden is only nineteen and is probably nowhere near his potential. I can only see good things to come for him.
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