One of the best singer/songwriters you've never heard makes a great, varied album: Like all of the best art, Dave Sills's music is hard to describe in a few sentences. If, like me, you're the kind of person who listens closely to lyrics even the first time you hear a song, the first thing you may notice is that Dave is a smart, emotionally honest guy who works on his songs until they actually are DONE, with not a word wrrong--you can sample any of the songs Spare Rain, Yours & Mine, Habit or Where You Are for a taste, but every song really shows this. I don't mean to over-emphasize that point, but one of my pet peeves involves writers who just "settle" because a song seems "good enough". Dave defnitely isn't one of them. Next you might notice that Dave has a beautiful sense of melody, made clear by the songs Not Far Behind, Where You Are and others. And, he can create a killer rock mood *without* a fast tempo (Yours & Mine; the climaxes and middle section of Put the World Away; All Messed Up) and create a lovely, swaying country-rock grooove too (Habit). He's a fine guitar player with a tight band made up of players that know each other very well. You may hear some influences here and there (Mark Knopfler's early guitar style on "Wrong About You", pub rock in "Bring The Sun"--the best song that Nick Lowe never wrote--or the occasional "country rock" vocal inflection), but they're all used tastefully and don't overwhelm the songs. Plus, they're GOOD themselves. Sampling some tracks should be enough to persuade you to purchase it in one form or another!
"How many times can we say / Let's give it one last try?" That's the question Dave Sills opens with on his latest offering. And if you say you can't relate to that, you're either extremely lucky in love or you're lying. Waiting Room is the soundtrack to a breakup, and Sills has a way of putting words and music to all the feelings that accompany such a heart-rending experience. Whether he's singing of frustration ("All Messed Up"), anger ("Wrong About You") or acceptance, Sills' husky tenor really tells it like it is. In "Yours & Mine" he sums up a typical split: "I won't say we'll still be friends, it probably won't be the case / 'Cause we were never friends in the first place." Uplifting it ain't, but Sills softens the blow with Hammond organ, shimmering electric guitars and a drum beat to drive your breakup blues away.
WXRT 93.1 FM Chicago
Dave Sills is a songwriter who continues to get better at his craft. Along with the songs, it's nice to hear the obvious confidence Dave brings to his disc. Faith in one's own work in conjunction with actual talent - that's what the successful people in this business have.
This 'Room' from Chicago-based Sills is full of edgy rock sketches on the downtrodden side. With a sound at times conjuring both early del Amitri and Ryan Adams, gentle shuffle "Where You Are" and uptempo "Bring The Sun" are standout tracks.