Summer is inching closer to its end, and fall will soon be here. While the warm weather will soon give way to falling temperatures and leaves, it does not mean that the summer mindset necessarily has to come to an end. Indie reggae/pop performer Denm (yes, that’s how his stage name is spelled) makes that clear with his new EP Endless Summer. Released Sept. 6, the six-song EP is a work that will appeal to fans of similar acts, such as 311, Jack Johnson and The Dirty Heads with its musical arrangements and even its lyrical content. One of the EP’s most notable entries that serves to support that statement is its opener, ‘Life’s Too Short.’ It will be discussed shortly. The EP’s second song, ‘My Wave’ is another of the entries that supports the noted statement. ‘Find Your Own,’ the EP’s closer is yet another of the songs that shows the appeal of Endless Summer to fans of the noted acts. When it is considered alongside the EP’s first two tracks and its other three songs, the whole of the EP proves itself just as enjoyable for reggae and modern rock-reggae hybrid sounds as works from Denm’s more well-known counterparts and a work that will stay hot for the noted audiences throughout the cold, winter months of the year.
Indie-reggae act Denm’s new EP Endless Summer is a work that is certain to get endless praise from fans of his more well-known counterparts in the mainstream. That is proven in part through the record’s opener ‘Life’s Too Short.’ Denm stated about the song during an interview, “When I wrote ‘Life’s Too Short,’ I had no money, nothing was working, and it seemed like I’d hit the final wall. So as a form of therapy, I wrote a song about how life is too short – how it all flies by so fast I mean, I remember being a little kid like it was yesterday, and now I’m an adult just like that. I’d been so focused on trying to make it, that I wasn’t even enjoying my life, so I decided to try and change my mindset. I let go. I told myself that I was going to be alright. That whatever will be, will be. That mindset is illustrated quite well both musically and lyrically here. The song’s musical arrangement is reminiscent not only of the previously noted counterparts, but also to the likes of Flipsyde with its electronics and hip-hop vibe. It is easily a radio ready composition that would fit without problem, into any Top 40 programmer’s list. The song’s lyrical content does an equally applause-worthy job of illustrating Denm’s thoughts.
He sings in the song’s lead verse, “If all we are is all we get/Then I’m gonna live with no regret/Life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short/I’ve watched my old man cry/Don’t you live your life like mine/Life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “I won’t lie/I can’t believe I made it this far/It’s a rough life/Everybody got their own scars/Some people get more, some people get less/We’re all blessed/And I know we ain’t got a lot/But I know we’re okay/If we love what we got/’Cause life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short/If all we are is all we get/Then I’m gonna live with no regret/Life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short.” He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Time flies/Ain’t nobody get a free ride/It’s alright/Might get it in the next life/Some people get more, some people get less, but we’re all blessed/I don’t know if I’m right/I just write with my heart/I just write with the vibe/’Cause life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short.” Denm could not be more right with this message. Life is too short. Yes, there are problems, as he notes, but we have to make the best of each day. This is not the first time that any artist of any type has presented such a message. Even with that in mind, it is no less welcome here than in any previous case from those other acts. It couples with the song’s gentle, mid-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement to make the song even more appealing and that much stronger of a start for this record. Keeping all of this in mind, this song is just one of the EP’s most notable entries. The record’s second song, ‘My Wave’ is another of its most notable works.
‘My Wave’ is so notable in part because of its arrangement, which sounds like a hybrid of so many works from Jack Johnson and 311. An argument can even be made for an inclusion of Dirty Heads in that list. It is a free, flowing arrangement that will also widely appeal to nu-reggae fans across the board, to that end. It is just one part of the song’s notability. Its lyrical content adds to its interest, too.
Denm notes in the song’s lead verse. “Put the chair out on my front lawn/Let the party go on/’Cause I could sit here all day long/’Cause I got nothing going on/I got nothing going on/I just wanna have some fun/Drink a beer in the sun/And maybe have another one/’Cause I got nothing going on.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Pass me another cold one…as the night comes under the setting sun/Come on let me pull you closer/Feel the sun on your shoulder/Let me, baby, what I told you/Is summer gonna last forever.” Simply put, this is a laid back work whose lyrical content puts right out there, that same laid back message. It is a song that celebrates taking life easy, continuing the message in the EP’s opener. It is encouraging listeners to appreciate and make the most of every day. This is, again, something that every person needs to hear. To that end, this positive message and its equally uplifting musical arrangement companion make the song another positive addition to the EP. It is just one more of the EP’s most notable entries. The EP’s closer, ‘Find Your Way’ is one more example of what makes Endless Summer an appealing work for reggae (and nu-reggae) fans alike.
‘Find Your Way’ is perhaps the EP’s most notable work because it goes more a ska route than a reggae or even nu-reggae route in its arrangement. Specifically speaking, the song’s arrangement lends itself to comparisons to work from Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and The Aquabats. What’s really interesting about the arrangement is that while it boasts all the horns and familiar guitar licks, it also adds some electronic elements throughout whose addition is so subtle that it actually adds so much to the song. Of course for those who might not know, ska is an offshoot of reggae so to that end, the arrangement still stays true to the rest of the EP’s sound, just in its own, unique fashion. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.
Denm sings in the song’s lead verse of a father figure leaving his family and the impact that it has. He sings here, “Daddy was a young boy/He never tried to do no harm/But he always found a way/Daddy was a young man/Violent/Had a mean streak/Then he up and ran away/What’s a boy to do/When he has/No one to look to/You gotta find your own way.” He continues in the song’s second verse talking about the child’s mother, singing “Girl, I was in junior high/When daddy died/Then she dyed her hair black/And her mom did her best to save her life/Oh, sweet Caroline/What’s a girl to do/When she has no one to look to/You gotta find your own way.” The words themselves carry a certain fire and pain that can only be fully understood and appreciated in hearing them for one’s self. Hearing Denm’s delivery of the words, they translate so strongly in their emotion. The same applies to the fire in the song’s musical arrangement. The arrangement works with the song’s lyrical content to make the song in whole a solid closer for this EP and one of the record’s most notable works. When it is considered alongside the other songs discussed here, and the rest of the EP’s works, the whole of the record proves to be a work that will appeal widely to reggae and ska fans and one more of this year’s top new EPs.
Denm’s new EP Endless Summer is a strong new offering that will bring endless enjoyment for fans of reggae and ska alike. That is proven from beginning to end of this record. The songs discussed here are but a sample of what makes the record appealing to the noted listeners. All things considered, they make Endless Summer a record that will stay hot (yes, that awful pun was intentional) well after summer ends and makes way for fall and winter. It is available now. More information on Endless Summer is available online now along with Denm’s latest news and more at:
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