Three Cities, a 3-song EP, is the debut release from Jason Daryush, an Oakland native with a taste for Brit pop.
With Daryush’s harmonically pleasing, though downcast acoustic track “Aurora,” I don’t so much think of the UK as I do of band from Indiana called Days of the New, which you might recall from their gorgeous, albeit tormented, late-90s song “Touch, Peel and Stand.”
As for “Aurora,” the lyrics seem rather foreboding:
“These streets are hazy and out of order / We drive down Aurora, haunt the Canadian border”
This hunch is soon confirmed, as the journey goes from:
“the ICU to the psych ward”
The second track, “The Fountain, the Well,” is another dejected opus. The speaker seems rather unsure about himself: “Fear vultures circle my head.”
Things become downright ominous: “I call out forgotten names, I sleepwalk through a fever.”
This line is every bit as poetic as it is troubled.
Then comes the assertion: “I’m ready now but it’s over.”
Ah, the futility!
Daryush says that his acoustic guitar is the “skin and bones” of his music. Correct indeed. He aptly uses his acoustic as both a percussive and a harmonic device.
Listening to the third and final track, “Bridges and Freeways,” I feel like I’m in a slow car ride through a forsaken, desolate city – maybe one that went to hell after the main factory closed down.
This song probably captures Daryush’s vocals at their best.
“Not every exit’s a golden gate”
True indeed, my friend. Not to be a complete snob here, but I do wonder if, with this line, Daryush is comparing his native Oakland to San Francisco.
He claims that his music has “more in common with sounds from the other side of the Atlantic.” I’m not so sure about this. However, I am quite sure he has considerable talent, both musically and compositionally.