McCartney, Oberst, even Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie fame: it’s no rarity for musical men in bands to take the stage alone with their own solo departures. We’ve seen it time and time again, with everyone from Tweedy to Timberlake. The solo side project often lends itself to heavy judgment from music critics everywhere, looking for something more than a softer side of roughed-up musicians. One man who’s taken the leap alone and remained in tact, maybe even growing to something much greater, is an artist everyone needs to hear: Dan Auerbach.
Auerbach, famed frontman of the blues-rock group The Black Keys, launched his first solo album, Keep It Hid, in 2009. Armed with a roughed-up repertoire of sultry songs and with a guitar strapped on for battle, Auerbach hit the scene running and has been widely accepted by critics and fans alike. Though he is still attached to The Black Keys and anything but an amateur, he has braved stages all over the nation alone, playing solo sets and hot summer shows at festivals as well.
I had the pleasure of watching Auerbach open for Band Of Horses last summer at Lollapalooza. Surrounded for hours by people who had been waiting their due time as well, I watched Auerbach take the stage and hoped he’d play a short set, as many others most likely did in the Chicago humidity. When he began playing, however, it wasn’t about waiting any longer; Auerbach blew everyone away with his allure and astounding talent. It took a matter of moments for everyone to fall in love with him and rightfully so. I bought Keep It Hid the very next day, and Auerbach and I have been happily attached ever since!. After countless hours of listening and lounging around, absorbing the sound, the album is still phenomenal.
I would ideally love to recommend the entire album for listening; however, my favorite track will always be “When The Night Comes.” It’s a rare ballad, a minor break in the brutal blues-rock vocals Auerbach is so accustomed to, but it is absolutely stunning. “When The Night Comes” is neither a love song, nor a clearly defined philosophy. It plays with the ideas of the innocence that comes with the setting sun, with each flutter of guitar strings. The track, much like the man himself, is honest, pure, a little heartbreaking, but ultimately timeless.
For more information on Dan Auerbach, visit his Nonesuch Records artist page at: