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  • Karlee Skipper

Review: "Swimming Pools" - Dani Stocksdale

Dani Stocksdale has kicked off her music career with an impressive bang after releasing her debut single, “Swimming Pools.” The vulnerable track explores the difficulties in finding a relationship in the modern age of online dating. Stocksdale wrote the song after a conversation with her therapist where she disclosed feeling lonely and lacking the confidence to put herself out there. After following her therapist’s advice to go to a bar alone, she learned quickly that putting herself out there is not enough. After being approached by a man who showed her interest, like she had been wanting for so long, she immediately shut him down. She used this experience as inspiration for her single, using swimming pools as a metaphor: they look very inviting, but given the chance, she does not allow herself to dive in. This clever comparison perfectly encapsulates these feelings of overwhelming loneliness while simultaneously being hesitant to accept any advances. In the chorus, she sings, “Swimming pools, I dip my toes in// I get cold and// Maybe I’ll come back another day// Another day// Swimming pools, they look so good// I never could but// Maybe I’ll jump in another day.” These lyrics illustrate the internal battle going on inside her head. She tries to convince herself that she is not ready today, but the next time someone approaches her, she will be. However, in the back of her mind, she knows she will still not be ready to jump in. The poetic lyricism and ingenious imagery of “Swimming Pools” showcase Stocksdale’s unmistakable songwriting skills, making this single a perfect debut for the talented newcomer.

Stocksdale never thought she would have the confidence to release this vulnerable track for the whole world to listen. Now with this incredible track under her belt, she has found her voice and proven her incomparable talent. “Swimming Pools” contains a unique production and structure that immediately draws in the listener from the very first note. The song kicks off with a brief intro that consists of the drum beat and the guitar power chord progression that is heard throughout the track. These power chords are strummed like regular chords, providing a more acoustic sound to the production. Stocksdale’s angelic vocals introduce the verse with the instrumentation continuing in the background, enhancing the chill atmosphere of the song. When the pre-chorus hits, there is a complete production change that is only heard this time in the track. A bass utilizing the same progression as the chords is added while the drums use rim clicks on the snare to provide a more subtle effect on the beat. This brings a significant focus on the layered vocals to emphasize the vulnerable lyrics. The chorus is introduced by a production pause that keeps only the drums before erupting, for the first time, into the full production. The instrumentation from the beginning is reintroduced with the addition of echoing vocals and an electric guitar playing a soft melody in the background. Stocksdale’s compelling vocals guide the listener through the lyrics, mesmerizing them with her astonishing vocals and clever lyricism. Then, a slight chord change in the progression signifies the transition into the second verse. A mellow version of the guitar from the first verse with the drums from the first pre-chorus play while layered vocals are heard in the background. These vocals continue into the second chorus which brings back the full production. A similar transition is used to introduce the second pre-chorus, which is uniquely added between the last two choruses, rather than after the second verse. This provides a distinctive song structure that is not often found in pop songs, helping the track stand out for its individuality. This pre-chorus plays a muted version of the original chords and vocals, before exploding into the final chorus. The song ends with feedback from the delay effect on the guitar, leaving the listener wishing the song would continue as they hang on to the last bit of the production.

Dani Stocksdale is a 22-year-old independent pop artist based in New York City. She aspires to create music that is authentic to who she is and tells a relatable story for listeners. With her insightful lyricism and honest vulnerability, she utilizes her personal experiences, from relationships to self-discovery, to connect with audiences. Stocksdale has performed at prominent New York City venues, such as Mercury Lounge, Baby’s Alright, Rockwood Music Hall, The Cutting Room, and Arlene’s Grocery. Listeners are sitting in anticipation awaiting upcoming releases from the new artist. Follow her on all socials to keep up with future projects!

Written By Karlee Skipper



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