Dave Vargo - Burning Through - Stereo Stickman

Dave Vargo Burning Through


Burning Through is a beautiful collection of songs from a notably sincere singer and songwriter. The album begins with a song entitled Come Take Me Home, one that opens up initially as a gentle and heartfelt acoustic folk song, soon erupting into a much bigger, brighter sounding track with an overwhelming warmth and a brilliantly satisfying hook section. The instrumentation featured on this and throughout the project is both simplistic yet flawlessly appropriate with every moment that passes. Each riff, each note, each melody, each build up and break down – all of this has been placed with care, and it makes for a reliable and calming listening experience.

Dave Vargo’s songwriting is ever impressive; the structure of these songs, the creativity of the melodies, the poetry and the imagery within his lyrics. On top of this he has this beautifully unique singing voice, this emotionally loaded yet somehow effortless sounding voice, one that carries these melodies and these ideas with absolute grace and an equal measure of grit. Good Enough showcases the strength of this leading vocal really well. The melody moves the voice from the lower end of the spectrum right up the high. The overall sound at this point seems slightly reminiscent of the Iris days from Goo Goo Dolls. It’s a solid sound, partly nostalgic, partly loaded with fresh perspective and brand new melodies. The entire collection really makes for a high quality hour or so of music and audio escapism.

Choose offers up a twist in character slightly; the rhythm of the guitar from the offset, the following rhythm of the verses and the quick delivery of lines – it’s an interesting piece of songwriting within a thick and upbeat recording that captivates from start to finish. Great guitar work throughout, the rhythm and the solo, all wonderfully arranged around another stunning vocal performance. Another powerful hook section, too. Dave Vargo is a skillful songwriter, without question. This music is just mesmerising and so very easy to unwind to at the end of a long week.

Wishing On A Star is a slightly more stripped back recording than it’s predecessors. The raw acoustic energy of the piece lays bare the artist’s leading voice, and it’s a passionate and genuine performance – one that offers up some unique and personal lyrics that show a definite element of humanity and even vulnerability at times.

Discovering new releases from independent artists around the world is a total pleasure, particularly when it comes in the form of a full length project – you get to delve deep into the mind of the artist and get a much broader scope of what they’re all about. To discover in such a way is almost always a enjoyable, to say the very least, but this album really just strikes me as something on its own plain entirely. The collection is everything it needs to be – well written, beautifully performed, thoughtfully arranged and effectively mixed and mastered, but on top of all of this – you get something else, something that’s difficult to define. It’s a winning combination of elements and moments and songs, and for whatever reasons it works. Without a doubt, Burning Through is one for the long term playlist.

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As the collection continues, Finding My Way To You is a well balanced fusion of the upbeat and the heartfelt, a great moment within the album with rising intensity and an addictive melody to match. Too Young To Be Broken offers an immediate contrast, the acoustic guitar picking presents a melancholy ambiance that is further explored by the artist’s gentle and distinctly weary sounding vocal – a beautifully relevant way to approach such a song. The lyrics line up well with all of this, the emotion of the piece is compelling and consistently genuine sounding; something you soon come to recognise and appreciate throughout Dave Vargo’s work. The song is significantly reflective and the title and the concept expressed throughout leave you reflecting a little yourself as you consider it all. Waiting has a similar energy to it at first, this small section of the album offers a series of moments within which you’re likely to find your mind wandering to a much more peaceful yet deeply thoughtful place.

A little more rhythm and optimism returns for the song Right Now. The track has a classic or soft rock feel to it, almost like a long lost hit or a well known driving anthem. The evolution from the verses to the chorus has incredible strength; it makes you want to learn each and every word as quickly as possible, to fully embrace those bigger moments when they arrive. Again, Dave Vargo’s voice is a beauty and a real pleasure to familiarise yourself with.

The final stretch of the collection features the stripped back and hypnotic Twisted And Bent, complete with enchanting story telling and a gorgeous melodic evolution as the whole thing progresses. Don’t Think Twice follows this minimalist moment with a little more of that optimistic, ongoing energy – a returning feeling of moving forwards, moving onward, shaking off the past. The track is still quite mellow but the beat brings about a somewhat epic aura that is soon joined by the rising power of the instrumentation. And then you get Pieces Of My Heart – a fantastic way to finish.

Pieces Of My Heart has something fresh about it, even at this final point within the project. The rhythm of the instrumentation, the short verse lines, the big switch to the chorus – the whole thing has been crafted in a way that brings real power and passion. It’s a charming arrangement with more of that much loved honesty and feeling, and of course, one more massive vocal moment to properly remind you of the strength of the artist’s singing voice and the way in which this songwriting really allows it to shine as brightly as possible.

An incredible collection of songs that you can trust in and return to time and time again. Listen on Spotify. Find and follow Dave Vargo on Facebook, Soundcloud & Twitter. Visit his Website for more info.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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