Dylan Dunlap - Another Fragrance EP
Released October 2, 2014
By Alex Southey
Dylan Dunlap, an 18 year old musician from Los Angeles, releases his second, extremely cleanly produced EP, Another Fragrance. Self-described as a folk artist, the EP immediately grips you with Dunlap's velvety smooth vocals, making his young age even harder to believe.
Sister blends the sweet pop side of Coldplay with the ethereal finger-picked guitar heard in the quieter moments on any of Bon Iver’s albums. Dunlap’s voice is coated with something that makes his notes very whole and strong, like tree roots. The harmonies towards the end of the song sound something like Abbey Road-era Beatles, making this not only a song perfect for radio, but one that will please the majority of listeners.
Following the strong start to the album, the next couple tracks brought mixed feelings. Turning Black left us expecting more, considering it contained the title of the EP in its lyrics. The production is clean and the chord progressions are good, bearing similarities to Yukon Blonde, but after the vocal strength and catchy quality of Sister, it disappoints. Carry On, the third track on the EP, is a radio-friendly, upbeat track with quickly picked guitar lines and echoing words. However, it continued to pull the album away from the unique direction Sister had us anticipating the EP would take.
Things turn back around with April 25th, 2011, a folk song that tells the story of where, because of a poor relationship, the speaker has suffered significantly mentally. There is merit in Dunlap's storytelling, and April 25th, 2011 regains listener attention after the shortfalls of previous tracks. Overthinking Me uses traditional folk lyrics, “I’m going down to the river,” sung over a winding, questioning piano progression. This is immediately one of the more interesting tracks on the EP, and, despite its roots in traditional music, it's fresh. With World of Hope Dunlap is able to recapture the magic that caught our attention in Sister, navigating away from overused folk melodies or lyrical clichés. The guitar sounds exciting, thanks to the light little inflections he puts in to the chords. Dunlap proves with World of Hope that he knows when to stop with the overcrowding of lyrics. With World of Hope, Dunlap hits the mark directly, and ends the EP in a very strong way. Fans of polished male vocals and thoughtful lyrics will enjoy Another Fragrance EP.