New Jersey-based Dave Vargo recently released a brand-new single, “Half Bad,” a track lifted from his forthcoming album, slated to drop June 25.
From East Brunswick, New Jersey, after graduating from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Dave followed by touring and becoming a session player, working with big-name artists such as Whitney Houston, Phoebe Snow, and Vonda Shepard.
Now a solo artist, as well as half of the acoustic duo, Kim & Dave, he also plays with his bands Chicken Bark and the Dave Vargo Trio, while still participating as a session player and songwriter. In addition, he hosts 2for Tuesday, a Facebook Live program streaming each Tuesday evening.
In 2016, he released his debut album, Burning Through, followed by his sophomore album, Spaces in Between, which dropped in 2019. Right now, Dave is ensconced in the studio, putting the finishing touches on his impending album.
“Half Bad” opens on gleaming waves of guitars rolling into a contagious rhythm made up of stellar percussion and a hefty bassline. Brimming with Americana flavors and hints of SoCal soft rock, the tune rises and ebbs on delicious undulations of jangly-colored guitars, along with oozing keyboards infusing the harmonics with low-slung glowing hues.
Daves’s rich, elevated tenor imbues the lyrics with warm, mellow textures and nostalgic savors. On the chorus, his timbres take on shiny edges, giving the song bright tinges energy. Radiant harmonies add luminous depth and dimension. A momentary soft breakdown shifts the harmonic flow and then closes with dazzling guitar accents.
Saturated with thick layers of instrumentation and teeming tiers of sonic hues, “Half Bad” avoids the pitfall of dropping into a hazy wall of sound, simply because of superb production values – resulting in distinct polished surfaces coalescing into a vibrant song.
“Half Bad” delivers plush swells of infectious music topped by the nuanced and affluent vocals of Dave Vargo. This song is definitely worth attention.