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Daniel Blake - Jakarta

8 April 2021

Blending the otherworldliness of Bon Iver with the deft song construction of James Taylor,Daniel Blake’s latest ep marks him out as one to watch. The five songs here sit on the edge of folk, Americana and acoustic pop, absorbing fragile and delicate hues from each which then get mixed to create a gossamer sonic palette which he uses to sketch and wash the sonic equivalent of a watercolour painting.

And like such a painting, it is the understatement of the lines, the sparing use of colour and space which is left between which really defines the sound. If less is more, then this much less must be so much more. And indeed it is.

“Heartbreaker” displays the almost cosmic quality to his creations, the music evoking the beauty of night skies and shimming landscapes, a musical metaphor for the otherworldliness of the songs found on Jakarta even when he is talking about very worldly subjects.

The title track blends gentle cowboy country vibes with ambient indie sounds, hushed and intimate and “Where’d You Go” is formed of gentle, tumbling beats and beguiling musical motifs. And if “Freeway”, which rounds things off, doesn’t make you want to throw a suitcase of belongings into the back seat of your car and head out on an unplanned adventure then you should see a doctor about the state of your heart.

A gorgeous collection of songs and an EP that puts Daniel Blake firmly on the musical map.