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  • Madison Spies

Review: "Humankind" - David Kushner

David Kushner Humankind Cover Art

Genre-blending artist David Kushner’s newest release, titled “Humankind”, serves as a soul-poking reminder of the care and tenderness the world needs to pass around to others. Both uplifting and intriguing sadness from buried depths, “Humankind” is a song that builds upon itself. As it unravels, Kushner’s voice escalates and adds purpose and emphasis to the points he’s attempting to convey to the audience. Lines such as, “I was lookin’ for livin’ water, you just let me drown,” reveal the real, human-to-human craftsmanship and writing Kushner has imbedded into “Humankind”. As the lyrics become more detailed and intense, Kushner’s voice increases both in volume and power. In likeness, the backing instrumental aspects of “Humankind” follow Kushner’s voice. As the drums in the track become heavier and demand your attention, Kushner’s enthralling voice and his heart-bearing lyrics follow in a well-rounded, similar fashion that hooks you from the moment everything starts to piece together.

While Kushner’s style is typically focused more on a mixing of pop & folk, there is depth in his voice that brought my mind to other genres. The style of his voice in “Humankind” reminded me of throwback metal groups such as Nine Inch Nails, as well as classic artists with deep, crooning voices like Elvis Presley. The level of complexity to Kushner’s vocal abilities makes “Humankind” all the more impactful, providing listeners with the raw pain of the song through his voice. His deep register and ability to write compelling, layered storytelling through his songwriting is something that is vital in pop music – especially today. While the lyrics are graphically detailed, using words like “slaughtered” and phrases such as, “land of the free chained to the ground,” it is necessary and paints a relatable, accurate picture. Pop music is a multiplex system, yet it’s universal, and songwriting like Kushner’s has qualities that have the power to bring people together and relate to one another. As the song entails, it is important for people to cast aside “tradition” and show one another kindness.

David Kushner is a singer-songwriter from Chicago, Illinois, now based in Los Angeles, California. He describes his music as a cross between pop & folk, and is inspired by artists like the Lumineers, Hozier, and Bon Iver. In 2022, Kushner’s song “Miserable Man” went viral on TikTok, topping the charts in Norway, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. In addition, Kushner has opened on tour for artist Lauv and headlined his tour titled “Daylight 2.0” after the release of the song “Daylight” in April 2023. In an interview from 2023, Kushner expressed his appreciation for God. He explained that his faith has been a “foundational thing in his life” and channels that energy into his music. He additionally stated that he embraces his faith and writes his music based off wanting to reach people.

Written By Madison Spies



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