Written by Maria Arroyo
Singer/songwriter, D.K. Lyons, shares his debut album, The Past (Romanticized), which is out now. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Tom Petty, The 1975, Goo Goo Dolls, and more, Lyons’ album is one with many different influences incorporated into one cohesive album.
Now based in Brooklyn, this intimate and stunning artist continues to hone his craft, and shares that he “takes pride in the unique way he writes about the traditional subjects of love, hope, loss, and fear.” His backstory pulls heavy influence from the badass women who raised him and comes through in the female characters featured in his music.
Lyons also shares that the album is full of stories about “romanticizing old flames, adulthood transitions, and dealing with loss, dressed up in a familiar yet varied sound.” The following quote by Lyons explains his biggest influence over all others and the impact that he’s had on his life. The intention for this record becomes abundantly clear as well through his words.
“Tom Petty was a huge influence on me from a very young age. He was my dad’s absolute favorite, he passed away when I was 6, so I’ve always felt this deeper connection to Tom because of that link. It’s why I started writing songs and picked up the guitar,” Lyons explains. “When Tom died tragically in 2017, it was like my adult self living through my dad’s death again too. It was an incredibly tragic and dark time, but also a time that spawned a lot of really strong songwriting on my part, which is sprinkled throughout my debut record.”
The opening song on his debut release is “The Getaway.” This song has lots of strong lyrical moments and is immensely catchy from the first chorus. The use of female backing vocals was also a great addition and added a lot of color to his sound.
His next single, “Shades of Amber,” shows a lot of sensibilities, not only in his delivery of the song but the vulnerability in his own life.
“Dance Like Shadows” creates a lot of heartwarming feelings that people who are in love can relate to. He touches on so many cliche ideas and experiences while keeping his lyrics anything but. The biggest thing that I admire about Lyons is his ability to be comfortable sharing his emotions, and the vulnerability in his life. There aren’t a ton of male figures who express their sensitive side, which creates a lack of conversation in younger generations. I could see Lyons being an incredible role model to show that there isn’t a weakness in expressing one’s vulnerability.
Just like “Dance Like Shadows,” Lyons next song, “Perfume,” touches on the little things we appreciate in relationships. This song, for example, mentions the feelings and emotions we feel, simply through a personal smell. I’m guilty of forcing my partner to wear his clothes just so I can have them back and have them smell like him, so this song made my heart very happy.
Another song I really enjoyed listening to was “Run To Me” because of its moving and powerful hold on me. This song took me on a journey that I didn’t want to end. He turns everyday lines into something fresh and new. This song, along with “Long Way Home,” is constructed very well and the consistency in his sound is unbelievable.
“Polaroid” is definitely the most diverse song of the record. It’s far out of the realm of the others, but with some really interesting moments in the instrumentation. There’s a lot of inspiration pulled from top hits in 60’s music, rock & roll, and even modern afflictions that breathe life into this song. While I enjoyed him coming out of his comfort zone, I think the placement of the song could have been closer to the middle of the record. Having it towards the end didn’t help me wrap my head around the fact that we were eventually reaching the end of the album, because he threw this curveball our way. Nevertheless, I appreciate the dive into uncharted territory.
Highlighting some killer guitar solos and a more upbeat feel is “Danger.” I think this song showcases Lyons as the WHOLE package. It matches his aesthetic, but also stretches the limits of what he can do as a songwriter. Closing out the record is “American Slang.” The title is quite bizarre, but it helped me remember the song after it was over. It was a great tribute to the idea of “Hey… I want to understand, so please teach me.” I really loved this song, and the ability to talk about the importance of communication towards the end is simply brilliant.
D.K. Lyons’ debut album is certainly one to remember. The ride of exposing his sensitive, nurturing, and vulnerable side is to be commended, and I applaud him for that. Be sure to keep up with Lyons because I think he’s still got some more surprises for us.
Connect with D.K. Lyons