Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed songwriter, but to reduce them to polar opposites is to miss out on the nuanced outlooks that come into focus when they’re working side by side.
Earpiphany is skilled at enhancing mood shifts in his songwriting, while Whitfield layers the tones with stunningly nostalgic, epic 80’s-styled rock production. On top of that she brings a solid, full range voice to the table, which lends total rock authenticity to the project.
Certainly, proceedings have been enriched with the participation of Aubrey Whitfield on this project. Audrey is a UK based record producer and a songwriter, and one of the very rare female record producers in the UK’s Music Producers Guild. Earpiphany, on the other hand, makes room for unfurling multi-faceted emotions and changing styles in his songcraft.
The pensive resolve of his “Caught in the Rain” gives way to breezy romanticism with the introduction of sun-kissed harmonies, a rich baritone voice and a crystalline organic soundscape. In the propulsive country-rock number “My Caffeine System” he dwells on love’s addictiveness, then pivots to buoyant defiance in the chorus, lifted by the entrance of shimmery guitar lines.
During “Dandelion Wine”, the crooner broods in a warm haze of hypnotizing harmonies and a delicate, string counterpoint illuminating his expression of desire. “Like a Long-Tailed Cat” (feat. Lydia Salnikova), which is actually the second track on the EP, takes us back to the crunchy rock rhythms displayed earlier, on the title track.
The marvel is that singer Salnikova, and Earpiphany can simultaneously stand on their own and still exert a gentle pull on each other, expanding our appreciation of their combined crafts as singer and songwriter. Rather than just being simple collaborators in song.
Flashes of vintage rock come to the fore here, as Salnikova pulls the strange trick of sounding laid-back but emanating urgency. It’s further proof that all of Earpiphany’s songwriting faculties are fully focused on driving home the emotion which the singer so perfectly translates into realness.
Thickly layered and constantly shifting shape – this song is both deliberate and considered in its production and execution. Ultimately, the EP “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs”, falls somewhere between tantalizingly curious and solidly convincing, as it moves from straight rock to country-pop flavored rhythms.
There’s enough here to hold the attention of any casual fan, however fleetingly, and music lovers with bigger appetites should find a much more to dig into during the complex moments, especially on the two opening rock-orientated songs.