They don’t tell you about these days. In the advertising it’s all sparkling city skylines and long, boozy brunches, and summer walks across the Brooklyn Bridge. They don’t tell you about the days like this, Sydney-winter cold in what is ostensibly the beginning of spring, while the low clouds, grey in a way that is not interesting, spit rain half-heartedly on the huddled masses who thought that a late April Saturday in Brooklyn meant drinks in the sun by the river. The people still throng to the obvious places but they huddle against the wind on rooftops and curse whichever TV forecaster recommended that they resurrect their spring closet early. On the street outside a chain pharmacy where I write this, there’s a collective, silent exhalation; “Fuck this shit.”
I have something of a constant stream of new music softly propelling my work on a daily basis. It is the odd track that cuts through, holding my attention long enough that I can start to forget about the stratification of residential mortgage backed securities and actually focus. At first blush, Daunt doesn’t seem to fit the bill. If anything, ‘Drive’ is the perfect soundtrack to the day that unfolds languidly before me. There is seemingly no real imperative motivating the track, as not even the echoing chorus seems to lift the ponderous pace established in the first bars by a slow, swinging hip-hop beat.
I think it might be the somber realism of ‘Drive’ that made me pay attention, and it’s the same no bullshit attitude that attracts me on this overcast afternoon. So much of music is desperate to entertain, high energy and tricked out to the point where it makes itself impossible to avoid. ‘Drive’ is definitionally, organically unassuming. It has a message, sure, but the unhurried way in which it delivers it makes it clear that Daunt only wants you on board if you can invest in space, warmth, indolent reflection. I don’t quite know the name of the musical movement that Daunt slots into but, alongside Sohn, Josef Salvat, Fyfe and others, he seems to inhabit the dark, introspective realm with impressive familiarity. London-based Daunt is likely no stranger to the kind of day that envelops a city, and bears down on the little people that scurry to and fro within it. He lives for days like this – the feeling of stasis, boredom, helplessness that sets in – perhaps no better expressed when, after rattling off a range of minor life-changing events that the listener might engage in to shake things up, he notes, ‘But even then you’ll be who you are, just covered up.’
Daunt – Drive