Alternative indie rocker, Ben DeHan cultivates a raw, sharpness in instrumentation meshed with a sincere voice in the new track “Life Goes On”. The Baltimore-based guitarist and singer, tugs at the listener with his evocative lyrics and drone-tone guitar riffs.
Previously touring with rock band American Diary, DeHan cut his teeth on the road and at such festivals as the Vans Warped Tour. Describing his songwriting as cathartic, joy and introspective, his press materials liken his sound to Third Eye Blind or Jimmy Eat World. “Life Goes On” is just the type of song that sounds best blasting from the headphones chugging fast on a solo run in the hot afternoon sound. The movement in his guitar, the immersive shapes his combustible music bed makes is the stuff rockers dream about.
His vocals, earnest and contemplative, are fragranced with tiny speckles of grit and grime from someone that has the cutting edge sound, look and feel. Yet, his voice has an endearing, trusting cadence. When he sings “when all you want is real, I don’t want anything” the listener can cut through that outer shell, and adhere to his thought-process. One inclination might be that DeHan is walking into a relationship, or merely commenting that he allows no expectations to people. He doesn’t impress upon them the idea of what should be, or what shouldn’t be. “Life goes on, time moves on, feeling strong…break, it’s more than you can take without someone to lean on” becomes this more anthemic, super-charged sense. He’s revved up a bit in his vocal delivery, and the guitar gets a little bit more contained, like a fire on street dumpster bin. Beat, heartbeat, beat, the rhythm and percussion caffeinate the listener. A slight moment, and one might hear this violin or viola string instrument. Ever so faint, but still a part of the wall of sound.
“Break, it’s more than you can take without someone to lean on,” is perhaps DeHan’s way of saying that while he’s fine being alone, he does get lonely sometimes and he needs human interaction, intimate or emotional connection. The driving music bed drills the guitar, the drums and the bass to envelope this solitary emotion. The percussion is paced well and the bass guitar throbs with emotion and as-always stability. While the listener doesn’t feel alone singing, with such a robust music bed, the intimacy in DeHan’s vocals and intricate guitar riffs suggest that he and the listener, in tandem, or racing past insecurities and in search of discovery’s life’s answers.
Like the road to happiness, “Life Goes On” rolls the dice and comes up doubles. Part philosophical and partly prose, DeHan’s way with words is an eagle-eye view from a younger artist pushing himself to his artistic limits. The listener is not just a bystander, but a co-pilot in this beginning chapter…a selective musician that adds a fresh and new voice to the music scene. “Life Goes On” is song that rolls past in a flash, just as life, it seems to cradle so much in so little time.
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