Damon Mitchell - Elise
(Independent / March 2, 2019)
• Stream the lead single on Spotify
Pure pop - melodic, catchy, earworm pop - with a retro flair is what you'll find on the debut release of 22 year-old indie artist Damon Mitchell.
He's got a nice flair for piano pop with memorable hooks. Heist is a love song that throws a criminal streak into the usual cute-meet sentiments, with plenty of changes to keep it musically interesting. He brings out the Hammond organ for Just A Face, and a more sombre tone.
Damon's vocals work best with a relatable lower end that does the storyteller lyrics of songs like License Plate justice. With fiddles and songs about love lost, it's a touch of country on the release.
Salo hits a nice groove between the hypnotic beat and the kinetic vocal line. They lyrics are both poetic and observant.
You tear your dress but never put up a fight
Another dollar in the bank for a lonely night
I say, it's all right...
The World In Her Eyes is a highlight of the release, a throwback to those mid-century days of orchestral pop, with horns and jazzy chord changes. Elise is the first single off the release, available now, with a retro rock-pop groove that showcases his thoughtful lyrics.
The production on the EP is nicely clear and understated, with a lot of musical layers. The one fly in the ointment is that his vocals don't quite match the quality of the musicianship on offer, with a raspy edge that could use a little more sensitivity on this kind of material.
Damon recently appeared on stage as a guest guitarist/vocalist with America on their timeless hit, "Horse With No Name." He's got a lot of help on the release, including notable guest artists like Charlie McCoy (Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel), and Tris Imboden (Chicago, Kenny Loggins).
It's an enjoyable release if you love classic, melodic pop music - the album drops March 2, 2019.
2. Just A Face
3. License Plate
5. World In Her Eyes
Damon Mitchell; Vocals, Guitar, and Keyboards; Brian Arrowood (track 2); Fiddle; Audie Blaylock; Lead Guitar (track 2); Nick Bowcott; Second Lead Guitar (track 6); Nick D' Virgillio; Drums (tracks 1, 2, and 3); Jacob Dupre; Flugelhorn (track 5); Sean Geyer; back vocals (track 1); Tris Imboden; Drums (tracks 4, 5, and 6); Kim Keyes; Backing Vocals (track 2); Dave Martin; Bass Guitar and Percussion; Charlie McCoy; Harmonica (track 3); Max Mitchell; Keyboards and Organ
The lead single Elise is out now: