It’s been ten years since Daniel Blumberg got his breakthrough with Cajun Dance Party, a precocious indie-pop outfit that released one nine-track album before disbanding.
Blumberg has employed this same method throughout the rest of his career to date; release an album and quickly move on to the next project. Whether this stems from a fear of boredom, of being typecast or simply a desire to experiment it’s hard to say. Whilst your opinion may differ (and feel free to let me know how), these are my favourite (or only) tracks from each of his musical projects to date:
#1 Cajun Dance Party – Amylase (2008) – An archetypal british indie-disco tune of the late 00s, with lots of swagger, energy and danceability that I would recommend to anyone who enjoyed The Wombats debut (and best) album. It’s admittedly one you have to be in the mood for but after 10 years it still seems to be ageing well (or i’m every nostalgic I really can’t tell)
Favourite Lyric: i’ll take your piece, then you’ll take mine / stalemate and we’ve just wasted time
#2 Yuck – Suicide Policeman (2011) – Perhaps his most acclaimed project and deservedly so. Yuck effortlessly blend 90’s rock influences to create a cohesive set of indie-rock that is heavy on the fuzz. However, they are at their most enjoyable when they tone the fuzz down a little and allow Blumbergs lyricism to shine.
Favourite Lyric: tell me one thing I should know of your situation /
I could stand out in the hall / I could be your suicide policeman
#3 Oupa – It’s Rough (2011) – Shortly after Yucks debut album, Blumberg released a number of more relaxing, piano-driven tracks under the moniker Yu(c)k (changed to Oupa to avoid confusion with Yuck). This one, a cover, originally sung by Smog on his album Wild Love, carries on the lo-fi aesthetic of Yuck.
Favourite Lyric – don’t turn to me ’cause I’m no hope / don’t turn to me ’cause I don’t know what to do
#4 Hebronix – Unliving (2013) – This project sees Blumberg experimenting further and whilst fuzzy guitar-tones make a comeback, they are now found in marathon length tracks, rarely falling close to the five-minute mark. Aptly described as a ‘hangover/break-up’ record, Blumberg gives off the impression of a man undergoing a crisis of existence.
Favourite Lyric: when all is unwilling / and all down the drain / and you’ve been unliving / for another day
#5 Guo – Guo1 (2017) – The only thing this project has in common with anything that come before is distortion, and here, in one 16:59 long track, there is enough for a lifetime.
Favourite Lyric: n/a
#6 Daniel Blumberg – Minus (2018) – ‘Minus’ is the lead-single from Blumbergs upcoming album (May 4th 2018) and see’s the former Yuck frontman writing music in a style reminiscent of his Oupa days; emotional, light on the guitar with some heavy hitting lyrics. As of writing this is the only track released from this album, so it is #1 of 1. However, it deserves recognition for the way it uses repetition to drive home it’s scarce lyrics
Favourite Lyric: minus / the intent to feel / i’m here