Jackson VanHorn, “Desire”

JP Basileo

The furtherance of an artist down the rabbit hole of self-discovery often provides a gain of momentum for their output, and an emboldening of voice. “Coming into your own” is very much a thing on Jackson VanHorn’s new single, “Desire,” off a forthcoming EP of the same name. The song displays a continued exploration of a detached, yet mysterious post-punk sound first prodded at upon breaking away from his previous projects. A shimmering oscillation of acoustic guitar picking opens the door to a darkened realm, not so much ominous in nature as it is wondrous. It specks a blackened night’s ceiling with those self-sustaining luminescent stars of your childhood as an electric lead enters as a pacifier to your heart’s uncertainty, a gliding paintbrush smearing the aurora borealis into place. VanHorn’s vocals enter in, perfectly at home in the nightscape created by the instruments. His lyrics are somewhat cold, critical of how modern life is lived, either romantically or occupationally, and each accompanying note envelops and drags him down a melancholic slide. The whole thing evokes a sad tone altogether, whereas it might not if one element is removed. It’s a jaded onlooker of something beyond their control, or an overtired parent dutifully expressing disappointment. If “Yearn Rock” were a genre of music, “Desire” would fit right in.

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