DANIEL LERNER’s ‘Good Game’ EP – A Perfect Collection Of Songs Headed By Stand Out Track ‘Haymaker’

Published on 14 September 2023 at 19:40

Words: Max Bradfield


In mid-July, Daniel Lerner released his single ‘Haymaker’ in-lieu on his latest EP that came along later that month. First we take a listen back to that track as it brilliantly set up the mini collection of tracks with crisp guitars and frenetic, infectious energy. 


As the song begins, light ukulele strums get us underway before guitars break out into this surf rock infused track. Glistening guitar withholds great skill as well as pace and personality in this one. In addition to this, Daniel shows adept ability in both his musical talent but also in semantic creation. 


There’s this real youthful exuberance present in tone and especially in Daniel’s voice being supported by frat-like backing input. In truth, it feels that such adlibs perhaps don’t need to be there as the song works perfectly fine without, yet they’re just another aspect of Lerner’s musical vision.


In this track, which is admittedly something curated for a top-down sunny road trip – the gifted sound is epitomised by an enchanting solo amidst the frenetic pace and drive. In and around the time of his EP release, Daniel Lerner’s representation paints a sound picture of his thinking and personal story.


Unbound by genre labels, Daniel treats every show, every song, every full-length project as an opportunity to experiment with songwriting, sound, and style. Throughout Daniel’s songwriting career, you’ll find pieces of him searching for something. On his debut album ‘There’s Something I Wanted to Say’ – a collection of songs about heartache, loss, missed connections, and growth – he established that style.” 


“It’s the album that kickstarted an exciting 2022, complete with a newly formed lineup of Robert Harary, Alex Scheitinger, and Jason Ross; joining Moon Sand Land and Sophie Said on guitar; and a writeup in NPR Music.”


On the new EP ’Good Game’, Daniel Lerner asks, “Can emotional heartbreak feel physical?” Headaches, fatigue, heaviness in the chest – all physically painful sensations that are often borne out of emotionally painful experiences. These feelings come into focus on the song titles - each song is named after a fight move or sensation of physical harm. good game! allows each song to explore new sonic territory – from the abrasive breakneck speed of indie rock banger “Haymaker,” to the soft and earnest folk songwriting on “Gut Punch” and “Punch Drunk Love.”


Lerner proves that his songwriting is diverse as we look further into the EP. Tracks ‘Kneecapped’ and ‘Steps’ go a long way in proving that Daniel Learner is well deserved of previous praise and that he has a knack of putting together his work in a way that delivers a solid collection.


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