Daniel McDonagh – Toward Winter (2020)

Daniel McDonagh is a former student of Fine Arts and current singer-songwriter and scaffolder. While he enjoys being ankle-deep in mud within the construction industry, he has spent the last year recording a wealth of material for release. His new EP Toward Winter is a culmination of his tireless work.

The EP is a rumination on love, loss and an ever-elusive muse. Each track takes on a different aspect of these themes including a look at the modern dating scene. This melancholic EP is full of reflective lyrics and melodies.

The EP starts with ‘Restless’ which is a look at the lack of romance in the modern dating scene. This song has a disenchanted vibe to it from the melody to the deep vocals. The slow tempo and lyrics of the track create a mire of disappointment that you sink into. While the song is lamenting the current state of things, it does not actually make you feel depressed and is quite enjoyable to listen to.

The title track, ‘Toward Winter’ moves away from the tone of the opening song to a gentle folk vibe. The slow folk melody of the track combines with the vocals to create a tender song. While the lyrics are full of seasonal imagery, there is a feeling of something deeper to the song. This is the longest track on the EP, but you will not notice that you have been listening for over five minutes.

‘Vixen’ grabs you with the acoustic opening. There are amazing harmonisations in this song that complement McDonagh’s vocals. The simple melody of the track offers a peaceful backing to the lyrics. The instrumental sections of the song are an ideal counterpoint to the vocals.

The last track on the EP is ‘Cathedral Bells’ which has a captivating lead-up to the vocals. This track brings back the melancholic tone of the first song. The melody is minimalistic with a haunting vibe that is enhanced by the deep harmonisations. There are moments in this track that are ominous in nature but send a shiver down your spine.

Daniel McDonagh ruminates on love, loss and the modern dating scene in the sombre Toward Winter. The EP is full of haunting tones, mournful vocals and lyrical imagery. Each track uses a different tone to look at the world, but they all have a thread of disquiet to them.

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

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