Dain Weisner: The search for happiness
by Emily Thompson
Amongst a sea of singer-songwriter-guitarists, Weisner’s beautifully strong voice and quirky lyrics stick out from the crowd. His latest release, Wallflower EP, is bursting with elegantly picked guitar chords and lush vocals layered over top. The music needs nothing more than Weisner’s solo skills and creative imagination.
“I’ve been writing little love songs since I was in the 3rd grade, long before I ever knew how to actually play an instrument… they were more like poems,” Dain said,
“No Cold Bed” is the sweet-but-solemn opener, setting the tone for the melancholy love songs to follow. Weisner’s main influences “have changed to songwriters like Elliot Smith, Tallest Man on Earth, and Sufjan Stevens,” adding that he loves “simple-ass pop music that’s stripped-down and intimate.”
“Congratulations” is just that; a poppy, upbeat song with surprisingly dense themes in the lyrics. “My time is spent writing lyrics, trying to condense a full story into a neat little 4-minute-long musical package,” Weisner said,
His solo EP proves that he is not only a lyrical wizard, but an extremely proficient multi-instrumentalist, too. He recorded almost all of the instruments (vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, piano) on the EP along with some help of violinist Caroline May and his girlfriend, Vivian McAuley.
Before moving onto solo endeavors, Weisner was one half of Chimney, a local Bellingham band that he started with Thomas Hudson in 2014. “We played house shows whenever we could and built up a following around town, meeting a ton of really cool people along the way who helped grow the community,” Weisner said. “Now, I play much more chilled-out music, while still incorporating Chimney-esc hooks in every song. If anything, Chimney taught my how to open up my voice and be heard. I learned how to scream.”
His vocals are confident and unabashed, full of emotion and vulnerability as we hear on title track “Wallflower.” The song opens with arpeggiated guitar chords underneath Weisner singing, “to the drunk ass girl on the wall, to give it my all is to stumble.” He states that some of the underlying themes of Wallflower EP are intended to “address personal struggles and the constant search for ‘happiness’ in life.”
“Second Thought” is a quick, uptempo tune with deeply relatable lyrics to match about making poor choices and realizing that the consequences often follow us wherever we go, and recognizing that negative thoughts have a nasty habit of returning. Weisner hopes that “this music helps anyone struggling with depression, anxiety, and/or addiction in their own life to know they can overcome. I want people to feel hope.” He is producing fun pop music with a deeper undertone, a rare gem in a deep sea of basic party anthems.
Be sure to catch Dain Weisner at the Kulshan Brewing Company on June 22 and look out for a future full-length studio album and a possible summer tour in 2019. Follow his social media for updates.