Dana Buoy is five happy-go-lucky sounding tracks on the EP, Preacher. Though not quite club-ready, Buoy crosses the traditional music genres and blends trip-hop with rock ‘n’ roll, some disco and more synth pop than should be legally allowed anywhere. Ambient tracks take the listener to a dreamlike world of sound.
The opening and title track features a mechanical beat caught in a limbo; it’s not quite heavy enough to be hip-hop, but not quite light enough to be pop. Laced with flange and sweeps, it is sure to give listeners using headphones a headache. Buoy uses the lyrics to tell the story of growing up and sifting through the good and bad pieces of advice from the endless barrage of preaching from countless sources.
Continuing with the same ominous yet upbeat music, “Isla Mujeres” opens with a heavily effected vocal riff. A cappella voices overlay with actual instruments and fails to mesh resulting in a disjointed combinations of sounds. The lyrics, buried under the instrumentation, talk about life being a cycle.
“It’s Alright,” a trippy ode to individuality, sounds like the theme to a 1980s arcade game. Lyrics guide the listener through a day in the mind of a slightly messed-up individual with a chorus trying to convince the character of some semblance of sanity. Only problem is, the listener never learns whether or not the sanity truly exists.
A slightly more mellow tone is set with “Let’s Start A War.” The somber song talks about a blossoming relationship and uses war as a metaphor for the relationship- it’s something long-lasting and not necessarily easy, but worth the fight. A rather odd metaphor for a new relationship, but the easiest song to listen to on Preacher.
The closing track, “Everywhere,” starts slow before exploding into a song with a classic rock ‘n’ roll breakdown. The chorus sums up the theme of the song: “I wanna be with you everywhere.” Perhaps the relationship took off in the previous song and Buoy realized the whole war metaphor actually sounded kind of silly.
All in all, Dan Buoy sounds like an attempt to be Bastille or even Capital Cities, but fails to find the perfect mix of genres. Give the young artist time to mature in songwriting and producing. Then we can expect to see the Portland native mentioned in the same breath as the aforementioned acts.