From the opening track to the last, Dancing Heals’ You Are Never Younger Than You Are Today is an interesting and melodic album. With a good mix of ballads, pop and indie tunes, the album is well constructed, with the songs going from one to the other comfortably.
Opening track ‘Raise the Dead’ has a very melodic, almost a blues and country feel, similar to something by Chris Isaak, or possibly even a Powderfinger ballad. The vocals throughout the album were surprising, but well suited – a falsetto or higher-pitched voice would be expected to go with the sounds of the album, but instead a beautiful tenor is heard, which works with this melodic indie pop very well. The energetic yet melodic track sets the pace for the rest of the album well. In many ways it also has an anthemic feel (in a live situation, getting the crowd in on the chorus wouldn’t be difficult). The song ends on a fade out into a radio, which also sets the album’s style of fade outs and interesting sound effects.
Contrast the finale, ‘Know My Name’, which starts almost like a 90’s pop-punk song, albeit much slower. That radio-esque muffle on the vocals at the start adds some interest, giving way to Powderfinger-like vocal lines, while the guitar plays the same groove throughout the verse, giving the listener something steady to hold on to. Halfway through, the song takes a drastic change of tack, going into a lilting 6/8 or 3/4 time, something which creates an interesting musical difference from the rest of the song. The guitar solo during this part is also enjoyable, as is the sudden silence following it. When the listeners are brought back in, it is in the chorus of “ah’s” and during a guitar solo. It’s a fun, upbeat piece that still maintains a certain anthemic element that is necessary in a final song.
Full of whimsical choruses, thick vocal textures and thought-provoking lyrics, You Will Never Be Younger Than You Are Now has a decent stylistic range, from the Latin feel of ‘I Don’t Feel It’ to the 60s pop-rock intro of ‘Underneath’, while still retaining its indie roots.
The album contains elements of a little of Silverchair, Chris Isaak, Avenged Sevenfold, Powderfinger and Kyo, combined in an excellent indie-pop manner, which works, even if it sounds like it shouldn’t. The drumming was interesting, with an attempt to incorporate different styles into traditional indie and pop styles. And while the song structures were, for the most part, quite formulaic, it still made for an interesting listen, with intricate guitar melodies, counter melodies and harmonies, as well as vocal range and interesting drumlines.
8/10: Overall, a musically interesting and enjoyable album.
Dancing Heals are performing at the Workers Club in Melbourne on 27 July.