It’s not often that an artist is able to produce a first album that is immediately classic-sounding in both musical content and production quality. But Bryan Daines, singer/songwriter and guitarist behind the new project, Dainesly, has done just that with the debut full-length “Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory.”
Fresh off of a four-year stint in Tahoe-based folk powerhouse Dead Winter Carpenters, Daines returned to work on a solo album that had begun two years prior with Alex Korostinsky (The Sextones, Whatitdo.) on bass/production duties and Justin Kruger of The Novelists on drums. Upon leaving the band late last year, he re-enlisted Korostinsky and brought in drummer Aaron Chiazza (Whatitdo.) to finish the last six songs he had planned for the release.
When asked what the sessions were like, Daines’ response is simple: “Fast.” Daines said the miking techniques were minimalist and the first sessions with Kruger were done in between tours with Dead Winter Carpenters, while the second set with Chiazza were done when they already had the deadline of their release show Feb. 10 at The Saint. The time restraints worked in their favor, producing an attitude that represents not just the freewheeling nature of rock and roll but of Reno itself.
The album opens with the terrific “Las Vegas,” a straight-ahead country shuffle that highlights Daines’ deftly melodic guitar playing and image-rich lyrical ability. “I may have done a little harm, at least as much as I was able/ Put a book straight through the windshield of a Mercury Sable,” he sings in the first verse with Petty-esque timbre.
Other highlights include the single “Inner States Of Interstates,” a slow building psych-country trip that over the course of five minutes transforms from quiet ruminations on travel into a postmodern Jackson Browne style hit featuring the wonderful pedal-steel playing of Shawn Tamborini.
Sonically, the album is striking yet familiar with a lush balance of lo-fi over-driven qualities and a psychedelic tinge reminiscent of modern acts such as Tame Impala and Frank Ocean.
“I would have just been happy to get the songs down in any capacity, but Alex is really into using tape so when I saw that he was excited I just said ‘yeah, let’s stoke that.’ ” Daines explained of the production, “I mean, I always wanted to record to tape but it was never much of a priority for me. I think it served the songs better than digital would have, though.”
Korostinsky, who also produced the 2015 album “Beautiful Strangers” by The John Whites, seems to have even further perfected his techniques with this outing. What the recordings may lack in clarity or depth they more than make up for in vibe, character, and an assortment of other aggressive intangibles that are invaluable to the listeners’ experience. The songs just feel right.
You can hear the album below.
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