David Arn is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Ohio originally, but now based in Virginia. His music is mostly acoustic and strongly lyric driven, allowing his words to be clearly delivered with an authentic, gravelly voice that sounds full of life experience.
You can hear the influences of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan as well as the sophisticated lyrical style of Van Dyke Parks and Randy Newman, though his style is very much his own. He has so far released two full length albums, Postmodern Days and Walking To Dreamland (which I reviewed very favourably in 2015).
This song, Thirteen Days (ft. Toby Wilson) is a delicate, heartfelt acoustic ballad with a distinctly melancholy and moving emotional undertone. Musically, the song is built on a bedrock of exquisitely recorded, crystal-clear picked acoustic guitar and double bass, which gives the music a slightly jazzy feel alongside the Americana/folk style of the overall song.
Throughout, it also features the contribution of guitarist Toby Wilson, whose mellifluous lead acoustic guitar playing adds an extra level of finesse and class.
These sophisticated touches still allow plenty of space for David ‘s warm, resonant lead vocals. Here, he gives an affecting, deeply intimate performance depicting a heartbroken lover dissecting the end of a deeply romantic relationship.
The poetic quality of the lyrics shows the influence of masters of the songwriting craft like Leonard Cohen, who would have been proud of a line such as, “The loom of comfort is hard to weave, my hands wear out from fatigue….”. This rich imagery is contrasted by the simplicity of the title hook, which perfectly evokes how time can suddenly drag when someone special has left your life.
Overall, this is a superbly crafted and performed acoustic ballad detailing the emotional fallout of an intense love affair. David Arn’s songwriting is honest and from the heart, with a power and poeticism that you associate with only the very finest in their field. I hope Thirteen Days helps David Arn achieve the wide ranging recognition and success his talent deserves. The excellent music video that accompanies the song should help that happen.
VERDICT = 9 out of 10