Stay (EP)

Wil Deynes

Independent release, 2007

REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


Andy Warhol once famously said that in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. He’s more right about that everyday, but the question on my mind today is whether one day everyone on Earth will have an EP online available for download. The technology has pushed the hurdles to making music lower and lower, even as it’s virtually obliterated the existing music industry business model.

There are plenty of downsides to this revolution, but I’m not here to soapbox on that subject today (I’ll save that for the blog). I’m here to talk about the upside, represented by D.I.Y. artists like the immensely talented, out-of-nowhere phenom Wil Deynes.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Stay is fives tracks of full, rich, radio-friendly Matt Nathanson-meets-Gin Blossoms melodic rock that sounds like it was recorded in a professional studio by a full band. The reality, though, is that Deynes, a Mac tech by day, recorded this entire EP by himself in the hallway of his home.

Leadoff cut “Superwonderful” is as radio-ready as an A&R guy could ever ask for, its ringing, hooky chorus drilling right into your cerebral cortex and staying there for hours. The song itself is classic pop songwriting, a love song to a girl who doesn’t seem to have a clue how amazing she is, and the execution is full of jangly lead guitar over layered acoustic rhythm that absolutely nails the power-pop sweet spot.

“Stay” has a power ballad feel for the most part as Deynes layers his own voice over what sounds like 12-string acoustic, with electric powering the choruses, but he throws in some nice twists. There’s a sort of herky-jerky electric riff he uses to introduce the chorus that adds muscle to the song, and the soloing over the closing chorus soars nicely.

Better Way” and “Nervous” are right-down-the-middle power-pop tunes, hooky and pleasant without making a huge impression. Deynes carries them with vocals that are clean and strong enough to create instant appeal even when the songs feel slightly lightweight. “Tired” closes things out on a significantly darker note, a frenetic, venomous, Lenny Kravitz-meets-Dave Matthews breakup song that demands that Wil’s partner “pack up your shit and go.” It’s a bit of a slap in the face after the relatively safe pop-rock that came before, but the song works and adds dimension to Stay.

Deynes has gone the Radiohead route with this EP and is offering Stay for free download, while soliciting donations from the downloaders. One more reason why anyone with a taste for melodic pop-rock should check out Wil Deynes.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2008 Jason Warburg and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.