Luke James
Luke James

Luke is new to the clunk family but it already casting his judging gaze over anything he can get his hands on.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Label: Self-released

‘There’s Something I Wanted To Say’ is the debut album from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Lerner. Seemingly a jack of all trades, New York’s Lerner has cut his teeth doing session work for artists ranging from alternative rock to hip hop and now he’s looking to bring all his influences and create something to call his own.

‘There’s Something I Wanted To Say’ is seven tracks of acoustic-driven summer vibes. Think somewhere between Local Natives and Damien Rice and you’d be close. From the warm tone of the acoustic guitar to Daniel’s almost Jack Johnson style smooth vocal delivery, the entirety of the album brings you into its warm embrace.

The first track, ‘In Your Way’, starts proceedings with Daniel’s light indie stylings. Think Badly Drawn Boy if he spent his years driving down to the beach with the top down. With simple drums and a bass sound that reminds me of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’, the backing serves to lay a solid base for Daniel Lerner’s acoustic indie and lyrics of heartbreak.

If dipping your toes in a pool while you sip a cocktail had a soundtrack, then the second song ‘I’ll Be Patient If You’ll Be Kind’ would be it. The guitars, with their soft ringing chorus, compliments the bouncing bassline beautifully. The second half of the song with its hum along recaptures your attention if you’ve made the mistake of relaxing on the song too much.

The following track ‘Young’ borrows the aforementioned indie sound that is present in much of Lerner’s music. Although, it is in this track the sheer power of his vocals is on show.

‘Sponsor’ and ‘Humble Giant’ carry on more of Daniel Lerner’s acoustic-drenched dream-pop but for me, the real gem of this album comes in the last track of the album, ‘Speakeasy’. ‘Speakeasy’ throws the acoustic guitar out of the window and reaches confidently for the electric guitar. Starting with an almost math-rock riff (albeit a little slower) the track shares more in common with bands like Bombay Bicycle Club than the acoustic acts mentioned before. Each part of ‘Speakeasy’ still has that beautiful dream-pop that threads through the album but with just a little more behind it. The last-minute and a half of it sounds like a big set ender with its “go easy on me” invitation to shout along to it as the band let loose and seemingly dares you to not bounce along. It’s a perfect end to the album and maybe a sign of where Lerner is going to take his music next.

The juxtaposition of Lerner’s melancholy lyrics set to dreamy upbeat music weaves throughout the album and adds real depth and emotion to it. While it’s easy to assume that an acoustic album such as this is a one-trick pony, once you give it your attention, you can notice all the nuances. Daniel Lerner seemingly brings in all of the genres he loves like R&B, indie, dream pop and treats each one as the jigsaw piece needed to make the picture he presents to you.