I’ll start by saying that it’s quite difficult to write this review.
As you may know after reading my ‘Flashback Friday‘ last week, I am a staunch Silverchair fan. As such, I have actively avoided Daniel Johns’ recent solo work (and yes, I realise that makes me sound unnecessarily stubborn). Silverchair’s 1995 debut album Frogstomp was a phenomenally angsty garage-grunge record. It was, quite literally, the album that made me fall in love with music. Those homegrown heroes, affectionately nicknamed ‘Nirvana in Pyjamas’ changed my life. I wouldn’t be writing this right now if not for that album.
When I heard Johns’ first new solo single “Aerial Love,” I thought it was okay. It was decent enough — listenable soul-tronica, not unlike Chet Faker, and clearly influenced by James Blake. I thought nothing of it, save for spending the next three days listening to Frogstomp and Freak Show on repeat.
Today, I was driving home when this track came onto the radio. “What is this amazing song?” I thought, before asking Siri to find out for me. It was Preach by Daniel Johns.
Cue existential crisis. Cue forcibly readjusting my views about this man’s music.
This song is unbelievably good. Powerful, emotional piano sets the scene, anchored by a sparse-yet-demanding beat, topped by Johns’ impossibly high falsetto. And the chorus? Sweet lord. All kinds of stunning right there.
My life has changed in three-and-a-half minutes.
Daniel Johns will be performing his new music at Vivid Live in Sydney, alongside the likes of Morrisey, Squarepusher, Sufjan Stevens, Flume, TV on the Radio and more.