David Singley Presents 'The Singles EP'
David Singley’s The Singles EP opens with the chant-like “Change Gonna Come,” which is meditative and super serious. However, the music feels more like a happy hoedown with “Can’t Find My Way Back,” which includes plenty of bluegrass-associated instrumentation and an exuberant feel, which follows after it. Thus, there is a wide emotional range expressed during this brief, four-song extended play.
This release is titled the way it is because each song was previously initially released as a single. Two came out in 2023, while the other pair were released in 2022. One called “Love Will Take Its Time” is slow and slightly psychedelic. It is thoughtful, similar to “Change Gonna Come.” It’s quite different also, though, from that opener in that it also features the sweet singing of Mary Jane Alm.
The project closes with “Go Back Home,” and it is positively gospel-y with its organ fills and choir of backing vocals. Lyrically, this last song sounds like it’s about a romantic and/or familial reunion. It could
also be read – especially with its stylistic applications of churchy sounds – as a religious statement. It has a tangible ‘come to Jesus’ vibe running through it.
Although this album explores this Saint Paul, Minnesotan’s singer/songwriter artistic side, Singley has had quite the wide-ranging career. In 2021 he released the album The Long, Slow Fuse of Night, and
these newest songs presumably fill us in on what he’s been up to since then. However, when he’s not recording his own songs in his own voice, he has also performed as a jazz guitarist, joining such esteemed artists as Tal Farlow, Paquito d’Rivera, James Moody and George Shearing.
However, he hasn’t performed with only jazz performers. He’s also been seen onstage with Motown star Mary Wells, classic Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds, one time teen sensation Debbie Gibson and even children’s television icon, Shari Lewis & Lambchop (There’s got to be a great story about that last one). If that’s not enough credentials, Singley has also found time to perform with touring Broadway productions, which have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (starring none other than Donny Osmond), The Lion King and Chicago.
Seemingly, David Singley never slows down. These four songs sure sound like the great nucleus of another full-length album, though. For now, however, they represent four recent singles, all gathered in one place. And while there are some lovely electric guitar lines played during “Love Will Take Its Time,” for instance, there aren’t any places where one suspects Singley -- the guitarist -- showing off his six-string skills. It must be tempting, once given the spotlight, to want to show what a guitarist can do. However, Singley sticks to making this more of a medium for his singing and songwriting, instead. Maybe he also has an instrumental opus in him somewhere, but this isn’t it.
As a singer/songwriter, David Singley reveals himself to be a strong writer and performer. Some people just seem to have all the talent, and Singley is one of these fortunate ones. Even with irons in so many different fires, he’s released a really pleasant four-song set with The Singles EP.