By Liam Prost
New West Records
Daniel Romano has proved himself an extremely capable musical chameleon, putting on the turns of old time country and psychedelic ‘70s songwriter-folk like a well-worn denim jacket. His appropriation of mid-20th century musical stylings is so effective and all-encompassing it often borders on parody. It’s frankly astonishing that he is able to produce material so diverse on such a consistent basis, while also producing records and leather working on the side.
His new record, Modern Pressure, is a riff on late-’70s rock, specifically the George Harrisons of the world. It’s fun and colourful, with springing guitars, melodious organs and present drums. It’s enormously authentic sounding, even mimicking the lyrical style of the period. Tracks like “When I Learned Your Name” carry an anachronistic air, with the song’s lyrics observing and waiting for a girl to come of age, a sentiment which seems creepy now, but is strangely in keeping with the lyrical leanings of artists like the Beatles.
Still, it carries on something very quintessential about Daniel Romano, his charming, country-styled vocal affectation and vibrato, and an acute sense of self. You’ll even catch Romano singing about another contemporary songwriter, Jennifer Castle, on the record.Daniel Romano, Modern Pressure, New West Records