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Daniel Tortoledo’s “Dark Times (Brothers and Sisters)”

Playing out like an old nickelodeon picture, the music video for Daniel Tortoledo’s “Dark Times (Brothers and Sisters)” is perhaps the single best way of getting a close look inside the mind behind Through out These Years, his debut album.

URL: https://www.danieltortoledo.com/

As spellbinding as some of the psychedelic-tinged imagery is, it’s got nothing on what the music is doing for us with its wispy rhythm and moaning melody, the latter being the strongest force any listener would be able to tangle with in this mix. There’s nothing particularly brutish about this track, nor “Bottle of Wine” or “You Can’t Have It All,” but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous in tone or spirit. Like strolling down a dark alley just past midnight, there’s no telling what’s waiting to creep out of the shadows and start imparting its sinful soul to us in Through out These Years; we’re given one choice and one choice only here, and that is to sit back, relax, and let the poetry of one Daniel Tortoledo serve as our lantern through the darkness.

There are a plethora of straight-up dirty melodies throughout this record, but some of the crispest of the bunch can be found in “Eloise,” “Not Too Late” and the stony “Give Me Soul.” Thanks to the top-notch production style that Tortoledo opted to use in Through out These Years, none of the instrumental intricacies ever got in lost in translation here – if anything, they’re magnified by both the lyrical aesthetic and the general approach to the sound board.

I really dig the tension in the first half of the album, especially as it relates to giving the second a little more room to be cathartic and open up to us on a more unguarded level. Tracks like “Spare Time,” “Bottle of Wine” and the title cut in Through out These Years have a lot of live potential because of their versatile framework, and if they can be properly adapted to suit the needs of a packed concert hall, there’s no reason why this singer/songwriter shouldn’t ascend the underground hierarchy with relative ease.

One-part Bob Dylan and another Alex Dingley, Daniel Tortoledo unleashes one beast of a greenhorn album in Through out These Years, and it would surprise me a great deal if I were the only critic remarking on its substance this August. For this being his very first studio album in this capacity, the swagger that this young man is injecting all of his music with is really something to behold. He’s not quite as arrogant as some of the egomaniacal pop songwriters I’ve come across in 2020 have been, but for the audience he’s looking to satisfy, he’s exactly the right combination of confident and humble as far as it would appear here.

Through out These Years doesn’t waste any of its thirty one-minute running time trying to convince us that its starring player is anything other than a soft-spoken commentator with a knack for making a sexy melody here and there, but in reality, this man is developing something every alternative buff should be paying attention to this year.

John McCall

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