Friday, April 22, 2016

Slumberjack - Open Fire (ft. Daniel Johns)

Freshly added to Spotify, the single from Australian duo Slumberjack "Open Fire" with vocals from fellow Aussie, Daniel Johns, is ready for streaming, ahead of it's official release next Friday, the 29th. Perhaps best known for their incredibly powerful 're-fix' of What So Not's "Touched," the duo's original releases "Enigma" with GRRL PAL, "The Others" with KLP and "Horus," showcase their wide range of production skills and musical sensibilities. "Open Fire" feels like their most mature and thoughtful production to date, with its wavering guitar intro accented by Daniel Johns' vocals, through poignant piano chords and simply stunning, soaring drops that slaps your heart silly. Perhaps the most powerful piece of Slumberjack's production in "Open Fire" is their impassioned treatment of Daniel John's already emotive vocals.

Right off the bat, the first line (5 seconds in) shows their delicate touch. The skimming, modulated vocal, immediately before the drop, adds an incredible level of depth, that is only amplified with Johns' effervescent crooning that soars high above the second drop. The cherry on top that confirms "Open Fire" as one of the best all around productions of 2016, is the disconsolate lyrical value Daniel Johns adds, that ought to send a chill down any spine that's ever experienced loss. I can't think of a better example of any track to both cry your heart out but also reignite the passion to achieve such a love again. It shines a spotlight on the sore-spot that is forever wondering where it all went wrong.

The overall production adds to the petrified feeling of being stranded, immobilized and helpless; how one thing leads to another and suddenly you find yourself marooned and utterly disabled. I cannot help but think of my own losses and far too fittingly, the world's loss of Prince, yesterday. I truly cannot get enough of this track, I've had it on repeat for nearly an hour now and it continues to hit my heart in such a profound way. My only hope is that you can experience this same penetrating, heartrending feeling, as 'music makes it all better' (something I saw on Skratch Bastid's shirt during his touching tribute to Prince here).