Darren Sylvester, “Don't Do That To Yourself”

Dale W. Eisinger

Dan Sylvestor

Meanwhile, down under, Chapter Music is quietly having one of its best and most prolific years. Following excellent entries from Bushwalking and The Ancients, the Aussie indie mainstay label gives us this “high-gloss pop” cut, the second single from Darren Sylvester’s new full-length, Off By Heart.

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Cushioned comfortably by Songs From The Big Chair, the brightness and propulsion here is a bit misleading considering the pleading, despondent lyric—the balance between inner turmoil and superficial farce strikes a particularly resonant interplay reminiscent of “Dancing In The Dark.” All the sheen might come off as too cheesy, especially considering Sylvester’s sneering inflection (Ariel Pink much?) But just how deep that hook cuts is undeniable, and on the other side I feel better for having dealt with masochism in a rational way. It’s simple: just “don’t do that to yourself.”

Darren Sylvester's Off By Heart LP is out October 4 on Chapter Music.

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