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day13n - Single Review: PA1N x SAG3

11 Jul 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth

Listening to Day13n’s new single PA1N x SAG3 is the stuff of nightmares, with a dark and edgy musicality underpinning the intensely whisper-screamed lyrics.

The song is divided into two halves, which nicely illustrates the forces of duality that are at play in the mind of the artist. An internal battle; to do better and to be better, but somehow still wracked with pain, fear and anger. And still pulled inexplicably into the quicksand of darkness despite their best efforts. The disappointment and confusion that follows. Such is the journey of personal growth and recovery.

The track has a lush landscape of musical elements; a blend of digitally created sounds layered with expertly played electric guitar, courtesy of producer Andrew Meyer. Day13n and Andrew came together at Parachute Studios with what they had each prepared, but left their collaboration open-ended enough to allow some room for improvisation in the moment. The use of guitar on this track is truly genius, when you realise how much of it there is, and how well it has been integrated into an electronic-based mode of production.

The results of this collaboration somewhat resemble a musical therapy session. The expression and exorcism of these pent-up negative emotions, followed by the self-reflective spoken word section over smooth warbling guitar tones, creates a calming and soothing repose.

The accompanying clip is both interesting and creative, Day13n’s first foray into creating in this form of media. It morphs and twists and flickers in an other-worldly way. I would have enjoyed it just as much without the lyrics on screen, I think, they were sometimes distracting and hard to read. Some very cool effects that remind me a little of what Ai does with clips, but these are created manually. Very clever.

PA1N x SAG3 finishes with the lines “The world is what you make of it, what am I gonna make of it?” This line sums up the determination and tenacity of the artist, and shows in the hard work that’s being put in. There’s a lot of talent here, and a lot of lived experience to be shared. I recommend checking out this artist's other work also. Great work. 


About day13n

Toronto-born, and currently based in Auckland, day13n grew up sandwiched between the wealthy east end neighbourhood 'The Beaches' and a TCHC subsidised housing community. The oldest of four, day13n spent his childhood raising his three younger sisters, while his parents struggled with unemployment, substance abuse, and his immigrant mother attempted to manage while his father was in prison, and absent.

By the age of 14, day13n had developed serious substance use issues, and was struggling with mental illness, which resulted in violent altercations with his father, and inevitably day13n being kicked out of his family home, and living on his own by the age of 16, dropping out of school, and entering the workforce.

For the next ten years, day13n worked to pull himself out of that pit, with therapy, self reflection, and medication. At his darkest points, he found solace in punk, and angry hip-hop music, but it was messages of hope, and belief in a brighter future embedded in the lyrics of artists like Eminem and Greenday that left a lasting impact.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for day13n


Year: 2023
Type: Album

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