One of the more infuriating things about being a young person these days (apart from our apparent 'residence vs. avocado' trade deal and the way we can watch the slow deterioration of our lives in comparison to our contemporaries through the glitzy portal of Instagram) is older people's firm assurance that every piece of music produced after 1999 is shallow, repetitive and well ... sh*t.
And we can admit, yes, there is a good dose of that out in the mainstream market, but also – sir – your leg to stand on is precarious at best – anyone remember 'Funk Soul Brother'? But, by throwing a blanket of default terribleness over all music made after you turned 30, you miss out on all the precious gems hidden amongst the dirty rocks.
Like say for instance, Michael Dunstan. You would think the guy had some sort of guerilla propaganda deal with the Dalai Lama for how rife and rich his songs are with messages of peace, hope and oneness with the world around you. If you listened to his debut album 'In the Grand Scheme' released earlier this year and acoustic reimagining of single 'Lay In The Sun' , both which received widespread acclaim, you couldn't possibly look me in the eyes and say music these days is insincere.
Though he may offer the first impression of the beach-y influencer who sends you into a bout of shame after extolling the virtue of 5am workouts and granola brekkies, Dunstan's songs have so much depth you need to make sure you're between red and yellow flags so a lifeguard can easily throw you the floating buoy when you inevitably start drowning.
Dunstan's released single 'The Wind Blows', another heart-achingly soft acoustic track that floats along a gentle breeze of sweet lyricism and erudition into the realms of surf-y morning folk (his sweet spot). One thing Dunstan has never struggled with in his writing is dispersing perspective and wisdom as casually as tic tac's. As his reverbed vocals run silkily over the twinkly but raw guitar chords (in an opening that always tricks me into thinking I'm listening to Joni Mitchell), you can't help but feel like this guy has unlocked some fundamental truths and is gently easing them in your direction.
Though I'd love to bust out the Plato and my old literature analysing chops to tell you what the core philosophy of "The Wind Blows" is, we really should just be listening to Michael Dunstan.
"Is change the only constant in this life? / the only constant / the essence of beauty is the inability to explain."
Michael Dunstan Tour 2020
Friday, 11 December
Badlands Bar, Perth
Thursday, 31 December
There's Something In the Water NYE, Fremantle