Album review: Daniel M. Griffin – You’re Gonna Lose Your Mind

Source: album artwork

Words by Lady Godiva

Is the world bringing you down? 

Take a time machine pill to yesteryear’s colorful and vibrant universe with Daniel Griffin‘s analog concept record, You’re Gonna Lose Your Mind. Get ready for a trip down the rabbit hole, on par with Alice in Wonderland. First, you are told you’re going to lose your mind, next thing you know, you won’t believe it, you’ll wind up at the Mad Hatters’ Tea Party. Watch out, more magic lies in the lumps of sugar you’ll have with your bottomless cups of tea. 

Like the Mad Hatter sentenced to eternally have tea by the Queen of Hearts because he murdered the time, this vocalist has been metaphorically institutionalized at “Dr Winslow’s Clinic”, therefore he seeks solace in a parallel dimension that he can envision and create with instruments from the Sixties. 

His medicine, besides Lewis Carroll, has been an intravenous diet of the BeatlesMagical Mystery Tour. Lennon‘s influence is particularly striking at the start and at key moments in Griffin’s vocal range. Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun, this Ohio native has most likely frozen from standing in the snow. The reverb in vocals adds a surreal touch to his lyrics and inflections, as if he were singing through the looking glass. 

Griffin lays the foundation of his imaginary shangri-La in the lucid “There’s A Place You Can Go”, singing “I don’t know everything there is to know but I know these places don’t exist, outside your mind…”

In the rejoicing tune “A Thousand Symphonies”, Daniel Griffin describes the figment of his imagination under a medical influence : “and though I couldn’t move, all the details were smooth. I saw the keys and they moved as they pleased…a thousand symphonies and the crowd was on her knees…”

“Digital Faultline” reaches a transformative climax in the record, where one can feel yourself slipping surreptitiously but permanently into an other-worldly dimension. That uncanny atmospheric vibration oscillates and lies in the song’s keys and although firmly rooted in another era, it bears similarities with the opening track in Granddaddy‘s record The Sophtware Slump, it triggers organic sensations.

In this timeless labyrinth of quirky and unpredictable clues, layers and metaphors, it is up to the listener to connect the dots to make sense of their own experience, which is one of the assets of a work of art as the latter should never be self-explanatory but rather leave it up to personal interpretation, which entails mind stimulation and expansion. Victor Hugo once said imagination is “intelligence with an erection”. This record is a clever reminder to look for something underlying in all that we hear.

 You’re Gonna Lose Your Mind is due for release May 22nd. Pre-order a vinyl copy here

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