Daniel John – Summerland (2021)

Through the tracks of Summerland, Daniel John is tearing down everything he thought he knew and starting something new. After feeling at odds with himself and disliking everything he had created, he turns what could be an end into a beautiful beginning. Taking the process of creating for the sake of creating, he expresses emotions and thoughts he never knew he needed to.

As a self-taught musician and producer, John has released an album and EP previously. Doing everything in his bedroom adds a personal touch to the EP and the feelings that are woven into each track. Touching on everything from turning to a new direction to finding peace with disappointment, the EP has an emotional hit for everyone.

The EP starts with ‘Fool Moon’ which opens with the last notes of the final track of the EP. This creates an interesting loop from the first moment of the single which is a delightful representation of the cycles we often feel in life. The undulating tones of the ambient notes fill this very short track with an easy vibe. While the song picks up the end of the last track, there is a feeling of awakening and new beginnings woven into the delicate tones.

The title track ‘Summerland’ is next and drops the gentle ambient tones for an acoustic guitar. There is a softness to the melody that touches on some of the emotions the opening track filled you with. Through the waves of the guitar, you find a sense of peace that eases the stress you might be carrying. As you relax into the music, the vocals consider how we often believe in less as we get older. This is tempered with the idea that there are always disappointments in our path. The gentle tones of both the vocal performance and melody crest with the understanding that you can accept disappointments and find peace in overcoming these setbacks.

‘Among the Wildflowers’ taps into existence with a richer and earthier feeling. The melody transports you from reality to a meadow with the sun warming your skin. This is perfectly matched by the vocals that delve into the want to be in a different place to where you currently are. The peaceful threads of the last track make an appearance later in this one which is a wonderful link. You are also invited by these vibes to focus on your surroundings and give in to the peace they offer instead of the turmoil you might feel inside.

The instrumental ‘Oksono’ is delicacy and awakening in sonic form. The music has the feeling of early morning in the woods when everything wakes and unfurls to catch the warmth of the sun. The delicate tones are quite hypnotic and have you slipping into a meditative state of mind. If you need to relax and just breathe, this is definitely the song you should be listening to. The calm vibes lift the weight from your shoulder and leave you ready to face the world when it comes to an end.

The EP closes with ‘Like Unending Heaven’ which brings an almost folk tone to the track. The acoustic guitar gentle draws you into the single while the vocals mist across your senses. There is a depth to the track that captures the unsure feelings John had when creating the EP before soothing them with peace and hope. The trumpet featured in the track adds a new dimension to the song that is missing from the rest of the EP. This gives it the feeling of the true awakening and beginning that the opening track started.

The gentle tones and tracks of Summerland by Daniel John lift a weight from your shoulders, relax you and draw you to a world of new beginnings. Each song has a delicate touch that helps you find the peace you need to get through life. The loop created by the opening and ending notes is wonderful in its symbolism while getting you caught in a cycle of relaxation.

Find out more about Daniel John on his website, Instagram and Spotify.

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