An incredible 8 years have passed since Dan Black left us suitably shook by debut album “Un”. As a new arrival on the scene back then, Dan whetted our appetites with a sharp and shiny take on pop which breathed creativity and a sparkling amount of ingenuity that left Black to be looked upon as a saviour of wonky pop mastery and “Un” became regarded as a cult record as such, at the very least to those who took time out to appreciate the experimental pop nature, of it.
We heard Dan promise that work on the follow-up album was underway more than a few times over the years and we were once hopeful of its appearance when he linked up with milkshake mama Kelis on what turned out to be a standalone single “Hearts”. Although, additionally there have been one or more collaborative projects on the boil, by way of co-writes, production duties and such that made the light of day, along the way. Word on that sophomore album has been tightly guarded.
This was until a few days ago when countdown announcements appeared throughout Dan’s social media outlets. “Do Not Revenge” 12 songs/12 experiences…OMG finally…The Countdowns…begin! was the message left. Hot on its heels “Headphones” the first single from it, is here.
What’s it like? Kinda deliciously dark and not without a timely message of life in the digital age behind it. Basically of how technology in all its forms can take over our lives if we’re not careful to step aside for a detox in the real world every now and again. It’s too easy to seek solace in a virtual bubble of digital mediums, when there is an army of life enhancing technical gadgets to suit our every need. That includes the over using of headphones in Dan Black’s case which I guess I myself am guilty as charged too.
“Headphones” in all its cinematic, alternative-pop throbbing, splendour is too good a song to be over shadowed by Lorde’s return. The unfurling chorus section alone is so powerfully captivating, both contemplative and euphoric at the same time. Lighting effects are used at their fullest in the supporting video clip, creating a visual backdrop which leans towards the supernatural. The whole package complete on this is so incredibly compelling in all aspects you should be hard pressed to find yourselves swept up this intoxicatingly, enveloping combination of cinematic pop and visual art.