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  • Dan Caddigan

Review: "Surface" - Dom Malin

Surface is a highly relatable song about putting yourself out there only to be overlooked; a sentiment that many listeners are sure to empathize with. Malin pours his heart out in this one, drawing his audience in with the emotion expressed through his silky vocals. This track was deeply personal for Dom, who drew inspiration from the times he “felt left out” as others failed to neither “accept” nor “listen to” what he had to say – a feeling best encapsulated in the chorus “Seconds from the surface, but I’ve been left out, trying to be noticed, but I’ve already drowned”. As you listen to Surface, there is an overwhelming vibe of loneliness that stems from being “always on the outside, the outcast looking in”, as Malin so eloquently puts it. He conveys with poignancy a sense of invisibility as he is left feeling like “a voice without feeling” when he is simply “trying to belong, trying to find my place”. All in all, Surface is a tastefully artistic narrative deserving of being added to your Spotify Liked Songs playlist and played at high volume whenever you need a song to make you feel something.

Surface has strong influences of indie rock, alt rock, and folk – giving it big Coldplay/Kings of Leon/Maroon5 vibes. The simple, clean drum patterns and chugging guitars on the chorus allow the vocals to shine through and elevate the track to a higher altitude. The added layers of piano and smooth backing vocals work in tandem to strengthen the hook and boost the song's energy. Dom's velvety voice cuts through the storm of blazing guitars and booming drums, serving as the focal point of Surface all the way through its final crescendo. From a formulaic standpoint, the pairing of dynamic instrumentation with a strong lead voice is what makes this tune so special and gives it a level of emotion rarely heard in indie pop music today.

Dom Malin is an immensely talented singer-songwriter who broke through on the UK pop scene two years ago with the release of his debut EP Something Never Said, Pt. 1. Dom’s sweet sound is self-described as being “dreamy folk with a little rock thrown in for good measure” – with “old folk guys like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell”, as well as The Lumineers, Maggie Rogers, Father John Misty, and Damien Rice being key contributors to the charming style he has developed over his young and burgeoning music career. When asked why he makes music, Malin proudly declares that he does it “to move people, to give people perspective” in hopes of “the listener escaping into the music and finding their own answers”. Well said, Dom. An authentic artist with absolute heaters throughout his discography? Sign me up as the new President of the Dom Malin fan club.

Written By Dan Caddigan



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