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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Drag Me Down (feat. Kasper Juul)" - Daniel McMillan

Whether it's swaying in the kitchen, watching the sun rise or set, or laying on the dew-soaked lawn, "Drag Me Down" makes a great companion to the soft joys in life. The tranquil indie-pop single from Daniel McMillan glimmers in spite of (and in remarkable contrast to) the emotional weight contextualizing each hopeful lyric. Like a radiant gem in a harsh, rocky terrain, "Drag Me Down" brings a sublime warmth to the acoustic pop formula. From the opening guitars and airy vocals, it sounds as though McMillan is setting the tone for a chillier mood. As the synth-pop drum machine kicks in, however, the sunny warmth thaws the environment into a soft yet buoyant indie-pop soundscape. Kasper Juul provides an excellent companion to the vibe: his huskier croon filling out the sound as the two sing the chorus. Where McMillan's performance brings a dynamic blend of hope and anxiety, Juul blankets his verse with a stable coziness. When the two come together in the serene chorus, you can feel them exhale.

"Got a million mistakes to my name," McMillan expresses in the opening verse—and that's just from the last two days, according to him. But "Drag Me Down" does not spin its tires in the mud; the song hops out and makes it up the hill on foot. "Even if I'm falling, won't let it take over me." It's not a song for the invulnerable. Instead, the two artists sing exquisitely of fragility and strength as compatible forces. Pretending nothing hurts you is an easy road to being hurt. The real path to peace is by giving yourself grace. There's no denial of regrets or mistakes, but rather a reckoning with the fact that they "don't need to take up space in my chest." It's a productive healing that centers personal wellbeing. The pleasant warmth radiating from "Drag Me Down" is an invitation to bask in the rays of self-forgiveness.

Though Daniel McMillan has been collaborating with other artists since 2021, he considers "Drag Me Down" to be the launch of his career as a pop artist. Australian-born and Denmark-raised, the singer/songwriter has previously made a name in the Electronic Dance scene. Now, the artist is directing his songwriting and performing experience towards crafting immaculate pop. Among his prior collaborations are two covers of Ed Sheeran's "Shivers" and "Bad Habits." With "Drag Me Down," McMillan is planning to release more pop singles in the future. It also marks the artist's first collaboration with Kasper Juul.

Written By Andy Mockbee

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