Review by Angela Blasi
After eight years quietly producing other Australian acts and working behind the scenes in the music industry, Daniel Johns has finally reemerged with the beginnings of an upcoming solo album. With the acclaimed Silverchair on indefinite hiatus, Johns has collaborated with Joel Little and Eleven: A Music Company to create an EP sampling the highly anticipated full album release in March 2015. Not to be confused as a standalone single, “Aerial Love” serves as the appetizer of what promises to be a musical feast. Once compared to Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Johns has hit our anticipating ears with a soulful and sultry piece of pop music. Described as ‘synthetic yet sensual’ in its press release, it’s definitely not what I was expecting from the rock star I have come to know and love. At first listen, a steady eighth note beat leads us right into the velvet of his voice proclaiming, “Oh I’m ready.” That steady one, two, three, four wraps itself up cozily into your pulse to keep your head bobbing the entire ride. The lyrics themselves were simpler and more straightforward than anything else I was used to from earlier work. Devoid of cryptic messages, “Aerial Love” is an honest, simple tune with repetitive stanzas and rhythms that don’t stagnate. It’s a bare-bones track with little instrumentation featuring vocal harmonies that make the song feel thick with charisma and romance. I’ve always appreciated Johns voice and his willingness to create outside of what he’s previously done and this is no exception. At face value, it’s a love song featuring dynamic use of falsetto, a steady beat and touches of pop synthetics to create the kind of song I’d turn the lights down and unwind to.
The music video seeks to capture the essence of the song using drone technology to tell the story of desert wandering lovers from a truly aerial perspective. Directed by Lorin Askill (Flume & Chet Faker, Phoenix, Sia’s Chandelier [editor]), the video replicates the song’s weightless, timeless, slyly carnal feel.