by Graham Johnson
Earlier today, Minneapolis musician Daniel English (styled d. english) released three tracks on Soundcloud, some of his first output since the gorgeous Big. The tracks are presented as tossed-off or casual disclosures, the name of "5/20" channeling the same aesthetic realm, and setting up the same contextual backdrop, as a journal entry or iPhone memo: expectations are low, which allows for great moments to flourish in a way they might not if presented otherwise.
And the tracks bear plenty of gems. "Girl Like a Qtip" opens with the amusing visual of a girl cleaning English's head out — "just keep turning," he sings, "I play guitar now." "Beer Buzz," meanwhile, (another version of which was released as a split with Von Neumann Architecture for No Problem Records) displays the kind of weird, 80s synth work that's always been popular in the DIY scene, but with a frenetic lead guitar mixed in that serves as a highlight of the track. "5/20," finally, closes off the set with a strangely poignant minimalist rendition of Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark."
Daniel English is a member of Frankie Teardrop, the Minneapolis rock group that released the fantastic sophomore LP Raiders last year. He's also a part of the Iowa City music scene, which we profiled in January. More of English's music can be found at his Bandcamp.