Yesan Damen The Never Beginning Story

Alexander Calder. That’s the first thing that sprang to mind when spying the simple and effective cover art to this inspired debut. Though I’m not perpetuating that I know anything illuminating about art, Calder has always brought forth amazing visions of wonder. How he seemingly creates a 3-D interpretation of the vibrant colour of such artists like Miro from simple shapes and angles is astounding. Essentially, I believe he makes the simple into the sublime. Damen, with a sharp ear for melody and energy, comes close to the same, taking his simple lyrics and making something intriguingly engaging. Why, there’s hardly a wrong note on the opening songs "Sailor Trading Stories” and "Perfect (So It Seems).” Yet, the folk-inflected indie pop that Damen tries to showcase isn’t uniformly great, with some efforts dragging compared to the snap of others. While this steers close to Pedro the Lion territory (including veiled Christian shout-outs), Damen refuses to be trapped within the slow introspection. The battle between tempos and a clear vision is apparent, but at least Damen is trying to figure it all out. Like Sufjan and Danielson, his best work may be a little later than expected. (Handcuts)