It would be an understatement to say that I’m just a little bit excited about hearing something new from Dan Sultan. The man Clare Bowditch once dubbed “The Black Elvis” is back slamming out his own brand of soul and sounding as good ever.
The new album Killer is due to be released in late July, but as early as the end of last year Dan had dropped the track Magnetic as a teaser – a belter of a song backed by a gospel inspired chorus of voices that lyrically from the get go was pure, tortured and troubled Dan working his way through other people’s perceptions:
Come help me / It keeps pulling me in / Tearing at each part of me / Don’t tell me / That you think this is it / Because this isn’t it for me
The superb video for Magnetic by Dropbear is reminiscent of Peter Gabriel’s visual work with Aardman Animations and the orchestral opening certainly enriched that vision. By the time the song’s driving chorus kicks in you’re reaching for the volume knob and cranking it all the way to eleven. It’s that strident chorus that makes Dan’s music so compelling – he sounds like he’s breaking out of whatever it is that’s holding him back.
The second album pre-release is Hold It Together, a follow up that is equally as impressive as its predecessor. With another great vid from Dropbear and a rolling bass line with a rhythmic beat driving the song, this taught slice of r&b harkens back to those soul driven 60’s gems.
Again, the chorus backing Dan has a gospel feel to it, but ultimately it’s the lyrics that really give the song its emotional weight – from his relationships with his brother to his mother and his own partner, it’s all there in this song and like those old soul classics despite their troubles there’s always that declaration of strength and love that will always hold them together.
If radio doesn’t get behind this song then they’ve totally lost the plot. It doesn’t get much better than this.