So, if you’ve read my “30 South African Bands you need to hear!” post – and it seems like a lot of you are – you would have noticed my admiration for Durban muso, Dave McMillan. Dave was, quite literally, the reason I picked up a guitar in the first place, and the reason for me seeing the beauty music could bring. Anyway, read that post (muso #5) and catch up on an intro to my story with Dave… but the lowdown is, Dave has been the frontman and contibutor to more bands in Durban than I can count. And he’s a musician that I’ve admired for a long, long time.
Which makes this post all the harder to write. Truth is, Dave has a harder task than any muso I know of impressing me. Point blank, other musicians I might be prepared to look the other way, should they falter. But Dave… well, he doesn’t have that luxury. And I hope he knows that that’s purely because I take his success… well, personal in a way. That probably sounds like a bunch of balls, and I’d be the first to understand if you called me a pretentious wanker for a statement like that, but the Durban music scene was always built on camaraderie. And even though a lot of us moved away, you take that feeling with you.Once a bra, always a bra, and things like that.
So, after that long precursor, I’ll get to the point of the post: Dave McMillan’s new (and debut solo) album, “Trying to find Rewind”. Dave’s released the album for a free download on his site, and you can stream the entire thing on his site; download just a single song or the full album… the choice is up to you. Whatever you do though, whatever my bias towards Dave, I’d encourage you to click through, or listen to the mp3s below of his tunes.
Summed up? It’s good. It’s very, very good. I wouldn’t go so far as to say brilliant; not quite yet, at least. But I definitely believe Dave is well on his way there.
The album meanders slightly in styles, with some songs having a Rodriguez vibe, some a James Taylor vibe, and some a vibe all of Dave’s own (on a side note, I’ve seen a lot of reviewers lately compare his work on this album to John Mayer… I’m sorry, but I think they’re full of it, personally). Personal highlights for me though? “Wake Up”, with a chorus that seems to come out of nowhere; album opener “Big Boys”, with that irrepressible refrain; the simple yet beautiful “The Mourning After”; and personal favourite, “Too Late”, which is simply too perfect for words.
Below, I’ve included some mp3s as tasters from the album, but as I’ve said, I really would encourage you to click on through to Dave’s site and give the whole album a listen. While I don’t think this album will be Dave’s masterpiece, I think it’s a clear indication of the quality of his future. Seeing as I’m hungry, I’ll use a food analogy: this is the most scrumptious entree you’ve ever had… but now your mouth is watering for the main course which you know is going to simply blow you away. And I know that main course is just around the corner for Dave.
As long as Dave is in the South African music scene, SA music is in good hands… I honestly couldn’t think of a better ambassador.
Good on ya, Dave.
Listen. Love. Support.
Listen: Dave McMillan – Big Boys
Listen: Dave McMillan – The Mourning After
Listen: Dave McMillan – You’ve Won
Listen: Dave McMillan – Too Late