Dane Maxwell releases debut Single
In an endearing howl, Dane Maxwell begs the question; “How do I stand in the light Where I’m Seen?” in this, his debut single, “Where I’m Seen.” The question isn’t as simple as it sounds; for Maxwell is backed into a corner right now, facing down bullies that won’t let him be, and he’s looking for a means of letting the entire globe know exactly what this moment feels like from a first-person point of view. He’s singing from the bottom of his soul, but the gentle acoustic guitar strings echoing his pleading are giving us just as much of a show. Dane Maxwell is not on the cover of this month’s Rolling Stone, and you probably won’t be seeing him on MTV anytime this season, but his debut single has a more artful center than almost anything or anyone that will be. This song isn’t just about confronting the bully in the schoolyard; it’s about taking a stand against abuse and all of those who would seek to inflict it upon the innocent.
The treble is totally absent from the EQ on the guitars in “Where I’m Seen,” and frankly I think that it was one of the best moves that could have been made when mixing this single. There’s already enough tension here without the inclusion of any pointless white noise, and the refined style of the acoustic guitar arrangement responds a lot better to these heavy bass tones that Maxwell uses instead. The percussion is the only component that feels a little lacking in pop varnish, but I don’t think of this as a negative feature at all. Where everything else in the song is bright and shiny, the drums are down in a dirge and spitting out a bit of graininess to keep things feeling authentic and unforced. “Where I’m Seen” doesn’t even begin to turn me off on an instrumental level, but its poetic verses are what really seal the deal for me as a listener. You don’t even need to have suffered the same viciousness that Maxwell clearly has in his life to appreciate how much he has to express to us in this track; if you’ve got a beating heart in your chest, you’re going to feel every ounce of the emotion he’s attempting to impart.
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It’s only been a couple of weeks since I got the chance to hear Dane Maxwell’s debut single fresh off of its final mixing session, but in that short amount of time I’ve become a big fan of his style, and moreover, the way that he commands so much attention with his words. I know that he is going to find a very warm reception this fall, and I’m excited to see him in person if and when he decides to hit the road in support of his forthcoming album. I can’t imagine the sort of energy that he’s going to take on tour, but if it’s something along the lines of what we hear in “Where I’m Seen,” he’s going to have an easy time finding some likeminded artists and active voices in social justice to share the bill with him.