Also published in Trespass Magazine 3/12/09
The boy from Melbourne with the voice did things the other way round. He courted interest and relative hype in his home country before he took off and wowed the USA and UK and, as the story goes, a little producer by the name of Mark Ronson. Following Merriweather providing vocals for Ronson’s cover of The Smith’s ‘Stop Me’, the two of them began to work together on Daniel’s debut album Love and War. The album was a winner, and Merriweather, after several years abroad was garnering the sort of attention an artist of his calibre deserves.
Which brings us to the Metro and a smooth, fluid performance with moments of rawness and purity only truly prodigious musicians can create. There was the initial potential Merriweather would be too smooth for his own good and the night would never break through that layer of silk that seemed to sit atop his vocals and physicality, but as the music kept coming and the sunglasses and jacket came off, the edge came through and the voice began to wander, powering through the big notes and swimming through the slow songs.
He worked his way through Love and War looking and sounding completely and utterly comfortable in his own music and in the capable hands of his (pretty bloody brilliant) band. Change and Impossible were big and bouncy, Cigarettes sweetly sad and both approaches allowed that heart stopping voice free rein. His cover of Paul McCartney’s Maybe I’m Amazed was another standout but it was his final number, the intimately beautiful Red that sealed the deal. Merriweather’s voice was made to sing about pain in a way that pulls it apart and lets his listeners look in on the emotion pulsing at the heart of the song and that’s exactly what he did with Red.
Love and War has been a long time coming and Australia has taken its sweet time in cottoning onto one of its biggest talents. Let’s not be stupid enough to let him get away.
Image from www.danielmerriweather.com