Review – David Backshell

Album:  Codeine Dreams  
Release date: August 29, 2017
Genre: Indie

Toronto-based singer-songwriter David Backshell delivers with his newest album, Codeine Dreams. A moody, changeable documentary of personal struggles and emotions, Backshell balances atmospheric harsh reality with an air of ungainliness, and as a result, Codeine Dreams wavers between being polished and being unmistakably fresh-faced.

Opening track “Everyday Is Yesterday” is the best of what Codeine Dreams has to offer—a soundtrack-esque, soft-treading choir, “Everyday Is Yesterday” blends honeyed harmonies with an undertone of jazz. With the ending of each track bleeding into the opening of the next, Codeine Dreams is less of an album and more of a storytelling experience, making up for its lack of musical variation in its steadfast emphasis on lyricism.

On the flipside, the lyrics can tilt towards being too on the nose, such as late-album track “Halloween”. Backshell’s husky leading vocals and straight-laced approach to songwriting would benefit from more variation in tempo, as each track follows more or less the same rhythm, but overall Codeine Dreams is a solid entry into the music scene and leaves audiences curious as to how Backshell will continue to grow as an artist.

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