Track Review: Michelle Was A Handsome Girl // Daniel God Damn Byrom
Most well known as the lead vocalist of the alt-rock band Wild Cat Strike, Daniel God Damn Byrom is embarking on a solo project. Moving from the heavier rock-influenced sound of Wild Cat Strike, Daniel adopts a softer, smoother folksy style. With a combination of acoustic guitar and obscure vocals, the UK-based singer-songwriter shows us a more vulnerable side.
The lead single from his recently released four-track EP Live From Dead Tuesday’s, ‘Michelle Was a Handsome Girl’ has a complex simplicity that is both endearing and compelling. The acoustic guitar and dulcet tones hint at a wistful innocence with the soothing melody; however, Daniel showcases his depth in the more macabre lyricism.
Touching on elements of cults and mass suicide, the love song takes on a darker meaning. Using a personal stream-of-conscious narrative, the elegant execution is highly engaging and illustrates Daniel’s fragility. The single was penned almost entirely the first time Daniel played it, but it has a sophistication making you assume the song was pondered over for a longer period. The melody has a jovial quality, but the poetic lyricism illustrates vulnerability, longing, obsession and anxious confusion.
What I love about this song is not the simplistic nature but the unusual vocal performance. While the voice is hushed, the muted quality is explosive touching your heart with its obscurity. Haunting, but with charming tranquillity, ‘Michell Was A Handsome Girl’ keeps you holding your breath and sends shivers down your spine.