Monday, March 27, 2023

DaeMarcus Sticks To What He Does Best On Second Album ‘Take It Back’

Going under the alias DaeMarcus, Adam Araujo is a singer/songwriter from Massachusetts. His debut album, the inspiring ‘Trials & Errors’ came out in 2022 and was filled to the brim with overt 80’s influences where pulsating synths were the norm. The artist has been quick to make good on his superb early work by following up with his latest album ‘Take it Back’ less than a year later. 

Araujo’s recent offering opens with more of the 80’s inspired synth and bass that we have come to expect as the singer takes us through the trials and tribulations of galloping through life on ‘Moving Out’. “Feel what I can inside me cos I know that I just wanna heal / And move on with my life because it’s time to fly this ship away” he croons in a heavily reverbed manner which, alongside the sparseness of the track, only serves to accentuate the emotion of the lyrics. 

Take it Back’ is a moody 5-minute jaunt, where electric drums combined with the monotonous piano and husk vocals give the track a particular Nine Inch Nails feel. The screeching guitar solo only serves to compound the dark themes flowing throughout as Araujo bemoans the fact he “Can’t escape how I’ve been raised”. The brooding gloom continues on follow-up ‘Bleed’ as Araujo delivers often spoken lyrics over Joy Division inspired guitar and bass lines. 

The distant sparseness of ‘The Way You See Me’ carries on the general themes however the shoe-gaze-inspired keyboard work gives the track an otherworldly feel as the heavily reverbed vocals make Araujo sound detached from the track. 

The album takes an interesting turn as ‘Live or Die’ slowly bursts into life in what appears to be the musician's first foray into more 90’s inspired sounds as slow acoustic guitars combined with a particularly subtle production style give the song an earthy feel. This theme continues on ‘Just to Say’ as the album’s 90’s revolution picks up momentum on a track that feels explicitly inspired by some of Beck’s early work. 

Yet, just as the listener is settling into this new alternative rock sound, Araujo is happy to snap them back to reality as the 80’s synths return on ‘Inside of You’. It’s another pain-laden track as the singer details the difficulty of having a lack of trust in a relationship. “I’ve always said that I don’t lie / I’ll keep a different point of view / But I’ve always wondered why you keep it all inside of you” he proclaims in his now trademark monotone delivery that deftly adds pain to the words. 

Echoes’ acts as another slight change of direction in the album as the production really comes to the fore with the track being laced throughout with distant sounds of television feedback, whilst the deep, orchestral synths and electric drumbeat give the song a movie soundtrack feel. 

Araujo again keeps you on your feet however as it’s back to the 90’s alternative sound on the penultimate offering ‘The Reel’. I count my steps on the way to work” the singer cheekily reminisces on a track filled with everyday witticisms. 

Album closer ‘Down the Hall’ is an age-old tale of reminiscing on your school days and those magical moments of being a teenager infatuated by a classmate. “I’d like to ask you out today” states Araujo in his unique style. The grandeur of the accompanying piano and strings gives the album closer a melancholic edge which is a fitting end to a release that often strays between light and shade in both its music and lyrics. 

In his sophomore offering, Araujo never strays too far from the formulas that work well for him, but given how this offers some beautiful, poignant and at times simply fun tracks, it’s a formula I’m happy he sticks with.  

James Ogden 

Image: ‘Take it Back’ Official Album Cover 

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