“After 11 p.m., you stop hearing the regular Eric Clapton-y classic rock on the hits radio station and start hearing more esoteric stuff, one-hit wonders from 1976, or really minor singles from artists I thought I didn’t like because I just hadn’t heard this one weird song before,” says Bloomington, Indiana-based singer-songwriter Damion (Damion Schiralli).
And it’s here, in those oddly-lit twilight hours, that his upcoming debut album, Special Interest, began to take shape. He corralled those nostalgic sounds and doused them in a lo-fi haze filled with jangling guitars and endless melodies, allowing their inherent rhythmic tenacity to bloom and foster endless cycles of musical adaptation. The influences are easy to spot, but it’s the way he shapes them that makes the songs so curiously innovative and prone to fits of creative euphoria.
Whether you’re in the mood for loosely-woven psych-pop jaunts that would make Todd Rundgren blush or something more akin to Steely Dan’s labyrinthine pop wonders, Damion has got you covered. And on new single, “Your Secret is Safe with Me”, he reconfigures these sounds into a relaxed, temperate dose of pop perfection, the kind of AM kick you’d get from obscure artists like Jode, Art Lown, or Hollins Ferrry. But he completely alters the nature of these sounds, creating a bridge between 70’s yacht rock and indie rock’s predilection toward gauzy environments. It’s a gem, and one that’ll led us willingly into the second half of Summer.
“The song is about secrets, but only because that’s what felt right in the context of the music,” explains Damion. “I always write the music first, so the mood is typically established there. I knew the last line of that chorus needed to be the hook, and one day a co-worker confided something in me, and I sort of jokingly said ‘your secret is safe with me,’ because to me that phrase can’t be said in a very serious way. But those words just sort of stuck with me, so I decided to write the song around that hook.”
He continues: “I wanted to write a song that sounds like it oozes out of the speakers. We kept doing takes until we locked into a tempo that felt a little too slow to play, but was just right to hear.”
Watch the lo-fi home video-esque clip below.
Damion’s debut album Special Interest is out tomorrow via Earth Libraries. Follow Damion on Instagram.