Nostalgia is half the fun of music… it’s what turns good songs into favorite songs, and bad songs into cultural landmarks (looking at you, “Cha Cha Slide”). With his new release, “Beautiful Distraction”, Canada’s Damian La Grange gives us a taste of the the former – eliciting memories of the pop-rock and college rap of the 2000’s, while still wielding a personality and style that’s thoroughly fresh. And, don’t let the retrospective comparison scare you. This isn’t the kind of song you embarrassed yourself to in middle or high school; it’s a lively, charismatic, piano-driven piece of pop fusion full of poetic, personal lyrics.
Vocally, Damian can’t seem to make up his mind as to whether he wants to sing or rap here, but it’s the best kind of indecisiveness. The combination that results melds his quirky but charming singing voice with sharp, quick-moving lyrics which, when set over a lush instrumental that includes Damian killing it on piano, becomes something really infectious. So infectious, in fact, that you might even miss the story being told here at first listen. Torn between love and the pursuit of musical success, “Beautiful Distraction” is Damian’s way of telling his girl that that’s exactly what she is, and that he “needs to breathe alone now”. So, if that’s what it takes for us to get more tracks like this, well, I hope she understands.
For a 23-year-old, Damian La Grange has a lot to be proud of, having turned his years spent making quirky demos as a self-professed “awkward teen” into a promising future putting out unique tracks like this one, and even earning himself opening spots for the likes of Dirty Heads and Coleman Hell. Take a moment to distract yourself with “Beautiful Distraction” below, and familiarize yourself with the refreshing new talent that is Damian La Grange.
[title maintitle=”PASSPORT” subtitle=”Previously released tracks by Damian La Grange”]
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