Deep Covers: Self-titled debut LP review

Words and photos by Sara Kuefler

I have been listening to the new self-titled, full-length album by Deep Covers on repeat since arranging to review it, partially for the purpose of writing this article, but more so because it bears repeating. Falling somewhere between space odyssey and stream of consciousness exploration of the psyche, the rich layers, spooky vocals, wide spread use of synth tones, and haunting guitar riffs make the album an audio delight as well as a cerebral experience.

Written, performed, recorded, and produced by the man behind the moniker, Daniel Wilson, this project was a labour of love that Wilson took some time to complete as he learned about the various aspects required in creating a record solo. Once Wilson finished the album, it was sent to Spencer Cheyne at OCL Studios for mastering.

You might say the evolution of Deep Covers began some years in the past as, at the age of 15, Wilson began experimenting with creating instrumental tracks using recording software and a keyboard. After spending over a decade as a drummer in various bands, he gravitated back to his electronic songwriting roots for his work as Deep Covers, expanding into guitar playing, vocals, and lyricism.

Influenced by David Lynch and John Carpenter, among others, Wilson has designed a sound that is cinematic, creating an almost visual experience for the listener via detailed soundscapes.

This eight-song debut LP opens with the beat driven and lyrically fascinating “Nature Makes a Scene” and closes with “The Last Song,” which Wilson considers his strongest track as a songwriter. In between are beauties such as “Golden Girl,” which features threads of dream state consciousness; “Low,” an ode to the isolation one can feel in the throws of depression, eloquently termed the artist’s ‘black dog;’ and “Dark Glass,” an instrumental that will transport you directly into the cosmos surrounded by the stars.

Wilson is releasing this album not only on streaming services, but also on CD and, more excitingly, limited edition pink vinyl, pressed by Calgarian company Canadian Vinyl Records Inc., with hand-stamped centre labels. If you have a record collection, the monochrome pink and white album art, as well as the record itself, will stand out amongst many others. Poetic, as it certainly stands out for its auditory and emotional impactfulness.

You will note the Deep Covers logo, seen on the above noted centre labels, features Wilson’s mustache and wig. During performances as Deep Covers, Wilson adopts a persona by donning a white wig. Not the first artist to do so, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust being a glaring example, the idea of performing from the perspective of a character the musician adopts mentally adds the protection needed to be more fully open with sharing the intimate nature of the songs onstage. In order to execute the sound heard on the record live, the instrumental layers are organized via a step sequencer, connected to two different analogue synths and a drum machine, so that Wilson can orchestrate all aspects while singing and playing guitar. 

The release party happens on March 1 at The King Eddy, starting at 9 p.m. with High Parade and Ashley Velvet opening. It is sure to be an experience as Deep Covers celebrates officially being able to share this record with the public.  A supporting tour will follow so be sure to check for dates.