“Primitive Style” arrives to us fully grown, independent of time and place; it seems not to have been written at all—it just is. Lacking the semblance of novelty that tends to entice the hive mind, “Primitive Style” will likely attract no particular blog buzz but is in fact a deeply satisfying rock’n'roll song, a wondrous commingling of Springsteen-esque bravado and New Romantic ardor, complete with engaging dynamic shifts, well-placed suspended chords, and a killer chorus.
Tying it all together is Delaware himself, whose voice all but croons, successfully, in the softer verses while opening comfortably into full-fledged rocker mode during the chorus. He sounds like someone with something to say, which in rock’n'roll is really more than half the battle. And pay attention if you would to the deft switch to 6/4 in the fifth measure of the chorus (heard for the first time in and around 1:04, on the word “primitive”). The best songs, to my ear, find some way to tweak the relative simplicity of the pop music form, and in so doing aim for the possibility of depth and resonance while remaining accessible to the ear.
Delaware (his real name? seems unlikely) was born in South Dakota and spent time in Nashville, Albuquerque, and Austin before landing in Charleston to partner with producer Wolfgang Zimmerman (himself last heard around these parts as part of the awesome band Brave Baby, featured in December 2012). “Primitive Style” is from Delaware’s debut album, Secret Wave, set for official release in October—but you can already listen to it in full on Bandcamp.