By: Hope Ankney
You’re somewhere between sleep and awake, wandering through darkened neighborhoods trying to find peace of mind. The sun has not yet stirred, and you take pleasure in knowing that you’re one of the few who are awake before it rises. The world is a much quieter place at 5 AM. You’re able to talk to your demons and filter through the haze that life has left sitting between your ears- Values and internalized superficiality and figuring out your personal place in a world so ambitious. As you experience some much needed mental respite, that’s when you see him. Hear him. Approaching the sidewalk, you notice a man with a lone guitar. It’s Max Dill, and, in his hand, he’s holding a sign that reads: “A Penny for Your Thoughts.”
That’s the feeling one gets as they sift through Things That Feel Right at the Time, the debut EP by Tallahassee native, Max Dill. It’s a record that follows the song-writer’s abstract thoughts, allowing the listener to feel comfortable enough to share theirs as well. Through simple musicality and unrefined vocals, Dill has the ability to personalize every sound and drifted lyric- enabling one to experience the rawness of the entries.
With the awareness the EP encapsulates, Dill was quoted saying it, “came together in a very transitional period of my life and chronicles an evaluation of human/personal values and the priority in which we/I mark them” which can be heard in the opening track “A Film by Kirk.” A track that touches on media’s values when it comes to news while also discussing the priority of friendship in day to day life. With lyrics like, “I guess the best way to keep informed is just to keep your back turned” and comparing a friendship’s longevity to monetary value, it is evident that Dill is conscious of how shallow humanity can be. The unembellished instrumentals and tender vocals reels the audience in, making this outspoken track a perfect opener.
However, the personal standout on the project is the approach that is taken on “England is Fading.” It recalls a relationship’s peak during a trip to England together. The nostalgic nature of bittersweet memories attached to a place hits a universal chord. Each lyric could stand alone as one connects with the aftermath of a relationship gone sour. Dill sings with such sincerity through lines like “Do you remember London? There were nights that I’d only breathe because you did” and “I don’t drink to drown you out, but when I’m sober I don’t like who I am” that it’s difficult for one to not get lost in their own headspace woes. The catchy chord progression and balanced tone throughout leaves a memorable touch, and the writing on the track should be praised for comparing England’s memory fading to the fading of a relationship.
Whether it’s observing human values and personal priority, having foreign land feel more familiar than home, or experiencing the imaginative scrapbook of a relationship, Max Dill’s Things That Feel Right at the Time has a knack for placing the listener into its shoes. One is walking beside Dill in London, experiencing displaced anger in Florida, and getting lost in emotional upheaval in their mind. Once the final note ends, a message is clear: The more connected we get, the more isolated we feel. Yet, how Max Dill delivers it keeps the audience coming back to this EP.