Monday, October 26, 2009

Dala - Everyone Is Someone

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting when I dug this disc out of the pile of submissions that’s seemingly growing by its own volition next to my desk. I vaguely remember seeing the cover of this Dala album as I popped the disc from its housing, and knowing my mindset, I’m almost certain that I was filing this one into some sort of inspirational ambient trance vocal category. Well, it is a vocal thing, and definitely has some inspirational aspects to it, but I never expected Everyone Is Someone to have the effect on me that it did. I mean, there were times during my initial listen of this disc that I simply had to stop, look up from the paperwork or internet maintenance that I was doing, and voice to no one in particular that the song in rotation was absolutely beautiful. I fear the day someone installs a hidden camera in my office. I’m sure I’d look like someone who needs to be committed . . . talking to myself . . . looking around as if I’m expecting someone to answer. Ah, the lonely life of a music reviewer.


All kidding aside, Everyone Is Someone is a spectacular, beautiful, and emotional collection of songs that I’m guessing may fit well with singer / songwriters such as Sarah McLachlan. I say, “I guess,” because I’ve never really listened to McLachlan, though her song “I Will Remember You” haunts me with its emotion every time I hear it, much like every song on Everyone Is Someone has been doing for the past week or so. Emotional. Y’know, that word pretty much sums up the entire mood to this album. It’s well defined and touches the nerves like no music that I’ve ever heard. For me, well . . . I found myself tooling around town, reflecting on loves lost, choices not made, and journeys to be traveled. And through it all, I felt the emotions welling up to the point that I suddenly felt sad. Not the doom and gloom, oh-my-life-is-so-awful kind of sadness, but more of that I’m-lonely-but-empowered kind of sadness. Big on vocal melody and staggering with those same harmonies, Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine brought me to my knees with their roots-y, folk-y take on pop music.


“Lonely Girl” opens the disc with airy vocals over some ambient backgrounds, but then the acoustic guitars rise out of the mix and the two women harmonize all over the place. Heartfelt and well phrased lyrics paint a great picture of the various characters getting by, but man . . . the chorus shatters the senses. The way the two voices dance around each other is mindboggling and more moving than any music that I can remember hearing. Ever. I can’t remember the last time that I sat back, listened to a song, and felt, with such a strong sensitivity, the emotions welling up within me. While listening to this song, a part of me wants to cry while another part wants to wage war against every man who has treated anyone with disrespect. Myself included. As the song winds down, I can easily see myself holding my beloved glass of bourbon in a darkened room, contemplating the wrongs I’ve committed. “Lonely Girl” just broke me down to my core being. What a moving song . . . more please!


Well, all of Everyone Is Someone has that affect in one way or another, but tracks like “Crushed” and “Stand In Awe” carry a similar weight as “Lonely Girl.” Both tracks are equally moody, melodic, and addictive. If you can’t feel something from these songs then you’re just dead inside. The single voice is powerful, as it sings through the verses, but when the second voice comes in, the emotion can be overwhelming. I’m wracking my brain to recall ever hearing anything quite this heavy. I’m not talking heavy metal heavy, I’m talking so emotionally charged that it feels like a twenty pound cat sleeping on your chest. I’m talking about the pressure one might feel while deep sea diving or of being at the bottom of a dog pile. Yeah . . . that kind of heavy!


For a little levity, Dala kick out the first single with “Levi Blues.” The song must have been included in a television show or movie recently because I had a feeling a familiarity right off the bat. Great fun lyrics, memorable, catchy . . . c’mon, give me another adjective! Upbeat and light hearted, I can’t help but dance in my chair, sing a line or two, maybe even crack a smile. It’s the type of song that will stick with you throughout the day. Saccharine sweet melodies drive this song, and odds are that even after a full day of not hearing this song that you’ll be able to pull it from your memory banks and hum it in its entirety. But, as fun a song as this is, and as good a song as this is, I keep going back to the more melancholy tracks coz’ I’m a sucker for the heartache.


“Northern Lights,” “Face In The Morning,” and “Horses” are all fantastic tunes that will have you staring out your window on a rainy day, reminiscing on days of young love or contemplating the path you’re gonna’ be walking. “Horses” is a crusher. I have to do the wide eyed man stare in fear of shedding too many tears as this one hits just a little too close to home. And it’s not just the lyrical content, but the way these two fabulously talented women convey the emotion with their voices. Again, those harmonies have the power to tear down walls and knock down skyscrapers. Aw hell . . . I’m welling up as I type this . . . I gotta’ wrap this thing up.


Okay. Maybe that was a little melodramatic, but I think it helps get the point across. Wow! It’s a moving frickin’ album that must be experienced to be believed! Everyone Is Someone has rocketed to the top of my all time favorites list on the strength of emotion alone. The songs are out of this world, the subject matter is poignant, the performances . . . a step away from Heaven. I tried to explain to Racer that the music is so powerful that, while listening to it, it’s like some sort of chemical reaction is taking place in the body that separates the raw sensitivities from our emotions and brings them right to the surface for maximum exposure, emotions that are suddenly exposed to all of this pain and pleasure and sadness and joy, just being barraged and absorbing the experiences that life has to offer. Wonderfully exhilarating!

-- Pope JTE





1 comment:

Leslie E. Young said...

I LOVE Dala myself. I have the same emotional response to them. Being a singer myself, I sure can appreciate the music they are doing! I loved your review and what you wrote about them. Not sure if you have other albums of theirs, but "who do you think you are" is a great one too!! Happy listening!

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