Set for release on December 14th, the wonderful Derek Sallmann’s thoughtful and heartfelt EP Love, Future You is one that inspires a wonderful sense of calm and optimism among its audience. Though these songs were clearly written as a means for the artist to deal with his own life and the world around him, they’ve been crafted in an accessible manner – meaning it feels very personal but equally relevant and welcoming to a wider audience.
The single and title track is all of this and more. Sallmann leads with a bright melody and a string of uplifting, comforting lyrics. The music is similarly hopeful, colourful and soothing – everything feels very gentle and dreamlike, letting the concept slowly but surely sink in for the long term.
Keeping things eclectic and interesting, Sunup to Sundown offers the same clear characteristics that make up Sallmann’s sound and style – the positivity, the sense of empowerment and possibility – but there’s an upbeat groove now that feels a little like a pop-punk-meets-Owl-City kind of vibe. Sallmann’s hopeful glow is infectious and lifts you up consistently throughout this project.
Breakdown, Breakthrough lets you get a little closer to the artist by means of a personal declaration of difficulty. The honest approach and the acoustic guitar sound fuse well to give off a sense of realness that’s easy to connect with at this point within the EP. The second half of the song feels more like an overcoming, and what you ultimately take away is that it’s OK to have those struggles – everyone does – and that things will get better. This is a definite highlight and a personal favorite from the collection.
T-Shirt Weather picks up the pace and offers an energizing rhythm and a fairly organic set-up that feels like a live performance. There’s an immediately catchy aura to this song and you can tell that a live performance would bring a moment of real brightness and togetherness. As the winter months close in this is the perfect kind of song to remind you of the warmth that once was – and that will be again; as is the Derek Sallmann way.
The EP comes to a close with the distinctive anthem-like tones of Feels Like Home. Progressing upward from a simple, rhythmic and immediately memorable hook, the track slowly gathers momentum – its weight and colour rise and multiply as things pour through. There’s a huge feeling of oneness about the song, the concept and the chorus of vocals that help push that hook melody throughout have the power to draw over anyone and everyone. Home is something we all treasure and this song takes the time to remind you of that feeling and indeed of the people around you who help make it happen. The track has a big-band feel and would ultimately make for a massive moment at a live show.
There’s plenty of room in modern music for songwriters who put so much of themselves into their work – and who manage to maintain a clear and likable thread of individuality at the same time. Love, Future You is a joy to listen to in full.