What did I just listen to? What is happening? Who is this man fronting as Daniel Johns? It can’t be the same man that led one of Australia’s greatest ever rock bands. This musical trickery has floored me, with Daniel Johns, or the man wearing Daniel Johns’ face, releasing his first solo EP – Aerial Love. And while I cannot describe just how unexpected this sound was from the Silverchair frontman, it is equally exciting.
Aerial Love opens with the breathy stunted vocal of Preach, layered on top of a dark piano piece, before moving in to the title track that is delicately laced with R’n’B. Already the EP conjures comparisons with Flume and Chet Faker, rather than Silverchair and would even hold up against the sound of worldwide megastar, Drake – a sound further solidified on Surrender. The closing song, Late Night Drive is the most commercially accessible, and where Johns is perhaps the most recognisable. A more musically inclined ballad with a crisp vocal will bridge the gap a little between fans of old and new, the latter of which there are sure to be plenty.
Gone are the smashing guitars and enormous drum sounds of Silverchair, replaced instead with moody synth melodies and digital percussion. Instead of screaming, in your face vocals, we have understated, light falsetto. This is a brand new Daniel Johns with a more mature final product that is unequivocally current. The EP delivers four tracks and a nice lead in for John’s first ever solo album, on which if Aerial Love is anything to go by, he will sound almost unrecognisable.