“Like a Dream” by Dani Slovak uses simplicity to its advantage. A lone piano carries through the chord progression, setting the foundation for what can only be described as a feverishly passionate vocal performance. The cracks, whispers, rasps, and shouts of Dani’s delivery speak volumes about the direness and authenticity of the lyrical content. You listen to it and truly believe what he’s saying. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the intimate, subtle details that make this song so effective.
First of all, it’s important to recognize the lyrics themselves without focusing too much on the delivery (yet). It’s clear that Dani is describing a loss here. He spouts phrases that people often only say in their darkest moments, like “The feels like a dream / But I’m not waking up,” or “I didn’t even say goodbye.” These aren’t particularly artsy words, but that’s the beauty of them. Songs that use a conversational tone often hit the hardest, because pretty much everyone can relate in some way.
That being said, Dani’s ability to emote through the sound of his voice is quite frankly phenomenal. Every word he says takes on more urgency just because of the idiosyncrasies of his timbre and dynamic fluctuation. He screams through some sections and barely breathes out others. The contrast keeps the listener completely engaged–and, violently emotionally affected.
Be sure to give this track a listen. It’s one of those songs that clearly means a lot to the artist himself, so it’s easy to connect to its emotional gravity.
Written by Alyce Lindberg
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