I’ve been a longtime and continuing fan of Dagan Harding’s work; the first local show I ever went to featured Harding as a member of Geronimo, and his solo album Naked Eye stayed in rotation through the life span of two vehicles I owned. Going in to my first listen of Harding’s Tonight EP I had high expectations, and while there were plenty of stylistic differences that warranted this release coming out under the new moniker Lone Wolf Dreamer, all my favourite hallmarks of Harding’s work were there. Let’s break it down.
The New – Electronic focused instrumentation
While Harding has utilized synthesizers in his other work they were never featured as prominently as they are in this EP. Through each track, the retro leaning instrumentation pushes the vibe towards towards the amalgamation of electronic styles that self-styled indie rejects might associate with LCD Soundsystem. The bass parts owe a debt to the dark and busy sound of the TB-303 that spawned the liquid low lines of acid bass, but they perform more of a supporting role by insistently goading the songs forward instead of being the hook. That role belongs to…
The Old – Harding’s hooks and unmistakable voice
There are few voices like Harding’s in not only the physical instrument providing the singing, but the melodic songwriting as well. Harding might not have a five octave range, but he often utilizes the edge of his higher register to emphasize choruses and other phrases with a bit of a gritty energy. Combined with the earworm phrases repeated over and over, you have a blueprint for singing along wildly in your car or on the dance floor. Writing this review I’ve already cycled through so many hooks I could put Cabela’s out of business.
The Takeaway – Get ready to dance
Overall the Tonight EP is ready to bury into your brain and take you to the dance floor. It is nothing revolutionary, but that is not its purpose. Heck, the biggest movers on teh dance floors are all classics. Harding has made a collection of songs that will get you to move and sing at the top of your lungs. See you at the club.
- Jon Neher