London-based musician Alex Denny, known for his studio project Queen Daxene, has once again graced us with his musical prowess in the form of his latest album, “Barnstormer.” Following the critical acclaim of his debut in 2018, Denny takes us on another captivating journey through the realms of alternative pop music infused with the raw energy of alternative rock influences. With 13 tracks spanning 45 minutes, “Barnstormer” begins with the infectious upbeat anthem “S-Train” and concludes with the soul-stirring ballad “Tell Me Straight, Tell Me True.” Noteworthy tracks such as the punchy “Wabi Sabi,” the rock anthem “Red Brick Sand,” the experimental sounds of “Kazuo Ishiguro,” the rebellious punk number “We’re All Destined to be Misunderstood,” the introspective “Pope Gregory,” and the bluesy “She’s Gone Everywhere Part 1” demonstrate the album’s diverse sonic palette.
Sonic Journey into Alternative Pop-Rock Brilliance
“Barnstormer” showcases a masterfully crafted mix that harkens back to the late ’90s rock and roll era, seamlessly blending the best elements of alternative pop and rock music. Within this soundscape, the stereo field is expertly utilized, allowing each instrument and vocal to occupy its distinct space. The drums possess a dynamic presence, their impactful beats driving the rhythm forward, while the careful use of bus compression ensures a cohesive and powerful sound. Harmonic overtones are skillfully incorporated, adding depth and richness to the musical landscape. The standout feature, however, lies in the rich and saturated overdriven guitar tones that permeate the album, infusing each track with a raw and authentic energy reminiscent of the golden era of rock music.
Alex Denny’s lyrical prowess shines brightly throughout “Barnstormer,” as he fearlessly delves into a range of thought-provoking themes. The album’s tracks explore existentialism, romance, social issues, and the allure of exploration, offering a multifaceted lyrical journey that resonates with the listener. Denny’s evocative storytelling ability captures the essence of the human experience, whether it’s the longing for connection in “We’re All Destined to be Misunderstood” or the introspective musings on existence in “Pope Gregory.” This lyrical depth adds an additional layer of emotional resonance to the album, making it a captivating and introspective listening experience.
“Barnstormer” possesses a cinematic quality that could seamlessly blend with specific visual narratives. This album’s alternative pop-rock sensibilities could lend themselves perfectly to serving as the soundtrack for indie films and TV shows that seek to evoke a wide range of emotions. For instance, its introspective tracks would beautifully complement the retro ambience of “Back to the Future” where the complexities of human emotions are explored. Furthermore, the energetic and anthemic moments found within the album would enhance the narrative of a TV series like “Psyche,” amplifying the tension and rebellious spirit.
Queen Daxene’s “Barnstormer” is a testament to the musical talent and creative vision of Alex Denny. This album serves as a captivating follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Backward Tractor Motion,” showcasing Denny’s growth as a songwriter and musician. With its meticulously crafted mix, reminiscent of late ’90s punk and rock and roll music, “Barnstormer” takes listeners on a sonic journey through the realms of alternative pop and rock music. Denny’s lyrical prowess explores a range of profound themes, leaving a lasting impression on the listener’s heart and mind. It is an album that demands to be heard, appreciated and celebrated within the indie music scene and beyond. Queen Daxene‘s “Barnstormer” is a true gem in the realm of alternative music, leaving us eagerly awaiting Denny’s future creations.