Singer-songwriter Michael Dunstan has today gifted us with a re-imagined acoustic version of his single 'Lay in the Sun', a feature on his debut album In the Grand Scheme, released in February of this year. One couldn't think of a more apt name for an album that this song resides in.
Befitting the title, the original track is composed of warm, sunny melodies, entwined with introspective, wisdom-rich lyrics that belie his youth. The acoustic is stripped back to the sweet essentials - guitar strums and jaunty whistles - carefully exchanging some of the warm summer haze of the original for lyrical clarity. It’s a bit less about the balmy, basking vibe and more about the message this time round.
An antithesis to the 24/7 hustle culture so many adhere to, Dunstan sings of the pleasure to be found in stillness. 'Lay in the Sun' tells us that, in the search for fulfilment, satisfaction is not found at a tangible endpoint of success, but the quiet moments between.
The spirit of the song is very much in the same vein as Billy Joel’s iconic ‘Vienna’– slow down, it's ok, your ambition can exist without being the focal point of your personality. Poetic lines of aching simplicity show Dunstan's knack for the short, sweet and succinct.“But I was told you ain’t going nowhere unless you’re going forward... But all of my best days have been those spent in the middle of nowhere”.
This folksier version transports you back to Dunstan’s regional home town on the Western Australian wheatbelt, where things move a little slower and the vast ever reaching horizon and panoramic sky gives you nothing but perspective.
Having toured Australia and New Zealand several times in the last 18 months, performing to his loyal band of fans at sold out venues, Michael Dunstan may not need success for happiness, but is damn well on his way to having it anyway.