Today we discuss Dan Deacon and his top ten songs. Over the course of five full length releases, he’s excelled at making music that is thoughtful, radiant, and a stark contrast to overwhelmingly simplistic ideas of other electronic musicians. He’s Daft Punk level good, except currently you wouldn’t know that unless you actively sought it out. Anyway, I present to you the Top Ten Best Dan Deacon songs. Enjoy!
10 TRUE THRUSH: AMERICA
With number seven and “True Thrush” from the dazzling and inventive “America,” Dan Deacon brings in a sort of communal element with music that swirls in a sound full of energy and vigor. The vocals are on the sweet sounding side, but the message is dark and honest, like the world it’s portraying. The slight echo effect on the chorus is a great idea as part of the mix. It really makes it feel you’re part of it, especially when you’re in a car driving into the adventure of the next. In the end, it's the dancey combo of the vocals swaying against the pulsating beats thats make the track so signature.
9 WHAM CITY: SPIDERMAN OF THE RINGS
This track, off his first official release, is an epic journey full of blasting electro beats, tales of mots, bridges, and wonderful images. It’s a slow build up of knobs and experimental beats, but it’s all in preparation for the dance party that takes over at around the three minute mark. The lyrics are great and mythological, but if you are familiar with Dan you know it’s all in service to the overall foundation of the song. I’ve seen this song performed a few times, and it’s amazing how much dancing you can get through in twelve fun filled minutes. For me, there’s little else in his discography that reaches this soaring and awesome song.
8 WEEPING BIRCH: MYSTIC FAMILIAR
It's my opinion that this song wouldn;t have been possible even ten years ago. Deacon has grown so much so quickly it's inspiring. This piece has a serene, yet vibrant tone to it. This toine helps build images of nature existing without the need or want of the outside world. With no vocals around, the synths and either instrument paint an almost musical waterfall of sounds, like gushing rapids over rocks. It’s inspiring and brave in a way most music in 2019 was. At a lieel over four minutes, it gets everything done in such a succinct, exacting way that the rush of emotion at its climax makes for a moment of oure surrender and pleasure.
7 SHEATHED WINGS: GLISS RIFFER
When this song was played on this record's tour, the response from the crowd was that of mesmerizing movement, as Deacon;s backup glowed in an array of deeply bright colors, the crowd whirling with hips popping and heads lost in dance. The mythological aspects of the lyrics blend nicely with the fast paced beat. For some reason its almost a reminder of me to a hyper clothes dryer, swirling in dark color of variety.
6 LOTS: AMERICA
Another one that has a tiny bit of intro but descends into a dance fueled meltdown that is impossible to resist. It’s one of the stand out tracks from “America,” and it’s not hard to see why. Quite simply, there are entire bands that could learn from Dan Deacon on how to make exciting music. He gives it his all consistently, and it really shows. One of my favorite parts of this track are the little chants prevalent in the background of the song. It’s almost joyous and holy in the way it’s presented, and while I think organized religion is a detriment to society, if it’s all about the experience and the dancing, I’d likely join Dan’s religion, if he had one. Although I guess in a musical way he already does.
5 THE CRYSTAL CAT: SPIDERMAN OF THE RINGS
One of his earliest hits, if you'd call it that, finds us at number six on the Top Ten Dan Deacon songs. “The Crystal Cat,” is a highly explosive, frenzied song that barely slows down, even initially. It’s frenetic in ways many artists couldn't even compare with. The uptempo track is a staple at his live shows, and transforms even the tamest of audiences into a full fledge dance machine numbering in the hundreds. It’s also one of his most verbose tracks, but the lyrics only add to the fun, and as you can imagine,they inspire fantastic chants at live shows. An early sign of greatness.
4 WHEN I WAS DONE DYING: GLISS RIFFER
A newer track, sure, but one the Top Ten Dan Deacon songs, “When I was Dying,” stands out as a sign of both where he came from as a musician, but also how he;s grown over the years. The lyrics are eye opening to say the least, but the message is one that remains hopeful, at least to me. The composition of the music is also brilliantly balanced and layered, which gives added weight to the central theme of the song, which to me is the greatness of living a life for all it’s worth, and never being guided by anger or hostility. Musically it’s not the most in your face upbeat track he has in his arsenal, but you don't have to always go that route to make an impact.
3 SNOOKERED. BROMST
Maybe the track that broke him in a bigger way? I’m not so sure of that, but plenty of people have been moved by this gradually great track. I’m easily one of them. It always reminded me of “With or Without You” by U2 in the way it’s able to slowly build layer on layer until it’s so involved and thoughtful you just can’t even imagine something better. The bells, and slow beats that open the song eventually give way to a solemn, but glorious reflection of what life is, struggles and achievements alike. For me this was the moment where Deacon become not only someone who deserves a bigger audience, but also one of the most emotionally talented musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
2 FEEL THE LIGHTNING: GLISS RIFFER
Everyone keeps saying this is a return to form. In some ways it most certainly is, but in other ways it’s a natural progression. The opening beat quickly gives way to a more elaborate, and densely structured sound, but it’s all in service to the music. Dan also has a way of layering his vocals to both sound like someone from a Crystal Castles track, but also himself. These sections weave in and out, but it always works great. The video is also really fun and imaginative, and finds the basis for it in the theory that our household objects come to life, a la Toy Story. It’s a solid track, and it lands at Number two of the Top Ten Dan Deacon songs.
1 BUILD VOICE: BROMST
This insanely brilliant, eye opening song slowly grows over cold, distant beats, like an astronaut looking for life on alien worlds. “Build Voice,” our number one Dan Deacon song, finds the strength build and build as Dan’s voice and normal mythical lyrics reach places few others are capable of. It’s lyrically not a super long track, but what is said is masterfully done and perfectly sets the stage for the explosion of power that finds the listener shortly after the three minute mark. Even the piano keys towards the end before the last little upbeat section work in a way you might not expect them to. The only bad thing is the fact that it’s maybe only been played two times at most in its existence. Hopefully someday that will change and the world will get to experience this truly marvelous track in a live setting.
Landon Murray is a music connooisseur who craves sounds of all shapes and textures. He's seen over 2000 bands and looks forward to welcoming you into his world of sound,
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