The former Silverchair frontman released his debut solo effort back in May and “Preach” is one of the standouts.
I have a soft spot for Silverchair¹. I was a devoted fan from Frogstomp (1995) through Diorama (2002) -didn’t like Young Modern (2007)- and I enjoyed Daniel Johns’ project with electronic musician and producer Paul Mac, The Dissociatives. While Johns and his two Silverchair cohorts have remained famous and acclaimed by the masses in Australia, after 1999’s Neon Ballroom, the album responsible for two hits, “Anthem for the Year 2000” and “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)²” their success in the states has been minimal.
The follow-up to Neon Ballroom, 2003’s Diorama is a great record. It was arranged with composer Van Dyke Parks and features a myriad of sweeping orchestral arrangements -but it didn’t break through here. And their final Silverchair album Young Modern was, in many ways, the trios least successful effort.
After eight years without a release, Daniel Johns’ first solo record, Talk dropped in late May. The record is a stark departure from his hard-rock days, but for anyone who has been following Johns career – his new sound it is not a surprise. The album is not perfect by any means, but it has its moments. It’s stark and minimal, highly electronic in its soundscape and decidedly poppy in many regards and “Preach” is one of the album’s best tracks. It’s a dark pop arrangement that is pretty straight forward, but it works. The hook is huge, and each verse builds nicely before the crescendo. I may be hearing his music through rose-shaded headphones -that is certainly possible- but I think this track kills.
¹ The trio was originally known under the moniker, Innocent Criminals and they were discovered after winning a massive talent competition in Australia as 13 year olds.
² “Ana’s Song,” you may recall, was about Johns’ struggles with anorexia.