26 Aug 2019
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Dylan Storey - EP Review: Phobos and Deimos

14 Aug 2019 // A review by Jacinda Selman

Dylan Storey has earned himself a strong reputation playing with and alongside a number of high profile Auckland fixtures including Bond Street Bridge, The Miltones, and The Bads. His most recent EP Phobos and Deimos adds to an already large body of well-crafted songs, mostly accompanied by a band and presented in an appealingly under-produced fashion. Phobos and Deimos stays true to Storey’s back catalogue both stylistically as an indie folk rock artist, and also in methodology: largely home-recorded with a number of musical collaborators. This time there is one key difference worth noticing - Storey has recruited a mix engineer from American folk-rock band Midlake, McKenzie Smith.

Phobos and Deimos does justice to the high level of song-writing expected from Storey. Lyrically, the EP evades obvious interpretation. Even the title, named after the moons of Mars, leaves listeners guessing Storey’s intentions. Storey has not been forth-coming with explanations and rightly so as all good song writers should be. This does not alienate the audience from the simple beauty of the poetry or inhibit them from finding the meaning they want and need. Instead there is a mood and a suggestion - an inference at a story - to intoxicate the mind the seeks it. Storey’s voice has an endearing frankness to it which complements his song-writing well, leaving an unpolished immediacy to the EP. In particular, Pixelated Brain brought atmosphere and movement.

Storey admits working remotely with McKenzie came with its own challenges. Interestingly enough, when Midlake had the opportunity to have their album (The Courage of Others) mixed by one of their music idols, they opted not to in favour of a local studio. They felt the benefit of easy communication outweighed potential star power. The EP features the proven ability of the Miltones’ rhythm section, and yet lacks in groove and feel. Surprisingly, the overall mixes are not as strong as Storey’s previous releases. The Simple Things seemed to miss its landing, which was disappointing as it seemed to be a very personal and introspective song. The instrumental section on Season Mary features what could have been a powerful dragged fill, but it feels a bit like a mistake on the first listen. I wonder if some of this could have been avoided by tracking together as a whole band.

While there was potential which was not fully met, the songs still shine through. Storey’s voice brings character and charm to intriguing and nuanced lyrics. The strong foundations in these tracks makes the EP worth revisiting for multiple listens.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Dylan Storey

Dylan Storey is an Auckland based guitarist, singer songwriter. Known for lending guitar and vocals to several other projects including Reb Fountain's band, Dylan also writes and records his own music.

Dylan has a new 5-song EP coming out on August 15th titled Phobos and Deimos.
It is a collection of 5 songs that could loosely be defined as laid back progressive rock with a dreamy psychedelic mood and an introspective leaning. Recorded in New Zealand and mixed in Texas by McKenzie Smith of Midlake at Midlake’s studio, the songs focus on rich sonic textures and forward-facing retro moods. Lyrics are a mixture of personal sentiment and general nerdery, while the music features elements of guitar rock with strong tinge of yacht rock.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dylan Storey

Releases

Phobos and Deimos
Year: 2019
Type: EP

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