At an early age, UK-based S J Denney came across vinyl copies of The Beatles’ White Album and Neil Young’s Harvest – it was then that he found his passion for music. As a youngster, S J Denney performed as a choir boy and learned to play the clarinet. Whilst this grounding was a good start to musical projects, it was later that he decided to focus on learning the acoustic guitar and writing songs. Featured in numerous blogs including Less Than 1000 Followers, Indie Band Guru, Edgar Allan Poets, The Other Side Reviews and Nexus Music Blog (that’s us!), S J Denney has a strong and loyal following. The latest addition to his discography is ‘A Silent Scream’.
Following his well-received EP 4 Reasons To Fly, ‘A Silent Scream’ is a single focusing on, according to S J Denney, “a person who seems happy to the outside world but is quietly burning inside; sometimes desperation can be subtle to the onlooker…” Retaining his soft, smooth indie-folk style, the single has a strong acoustic-inspired sound with a guitar and vocals arrangement. Yet, an obscure slant is heard in the arrangement with a woodwind section alongside a piano accordion.
I find this melodic arrangement particularly intriguing as it seems to align with the theme of desperation and inner turmoil. Light-hearted, laidback melodies can be heard; however, there is a painfulness heard in the underlying vocals and guitar. A happy, chilled-out surface that people would assume as happy, but a deeper, more melancholic undertone. Toward the end of the song, S J Denney uses a megaphone to sing further pushing the melancholia within ‘A Silent Scream’.
As much as I adore the melody, it is S J Denney’s vocals that turn my head. Heartfelt and tender, but with a desperate, reflective desolation, ‘A Silent Scream’ gives us brutal honesty with sincere sentimentality.