Darren Gillis review by Vince Leigh
Stark imagery merges with heartfelt dedication on Me and You, the new single by Western Australian singer–songwriter Darren Gillis.
Me and You is country with a sprinkle of blues and rock and a careful nod to Americana (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Merle Haggard), despite some rather Australian references, including the opening verse lyric’s establishing scenario featuring “the dust” and “the flies”.
Such bleak references are used sparingly here; the song is obviously a love song and uses a myriad of techniques and sonic textures to emphasise this.
As Gillis has said of the story behind Me And You:
“This little love story is dedicated to my girl. You know, we all have our ups and downs in life, I lost in love in recent years, and I never thought I’d love again. Along came Kate, the beautiful girl on the hay bail on the single cover.”
Me and You a perfect fit
The little love story features a dynamic vocal performance that sways between the various grooves, providing the perfect fit for the multiple hooks, the guitar work, and multi-layered organic production. Right from the get-go, we have the rural setting, the twelve-hour workday grind, the labouring, and what this song revolves around: the promise of the rewards that might follow.
But Me And You stretches beyond promise into conviction; the narrator knows what awaits him. This is the crux of the song. There is a sense of comfort in his stated intentions, the ensuing night all sorted. Both the recipient of these intentions and the listener feel a certain sense of unquestionable ease about it.
This ease is transposed not only by the assuredness of the lyric but also by the music itself: the performances, the instrumentation, the arrangement — and perhaps most efficiently Gillis’s coolheaded, low twang.
For all its confidence and swaggering country evocations, it remains satisfyingly measured and non-melodramatic.