Communication is an important part of our every-day lives and we all want to be understood somehow someway. This topic is a fodder for many artists and musicians and Asbury Park-based singer/songwriter Rachel Ana Dobken mines this subject matter gracefully in her sultry and atmospheric new single “understand” off her upcoming LP When It Happens To You. The song serves as a strong case for Dobken’s understated yet purposeful vocal performance which establishes mood and tone with confidence. Musically the track appears simple with hazy guitars and moody organ but the more listens you give it, the more the track’s ambiance washes over you and reveals it’s layers. Lyrically “Understand” highlights perspective and a desire to know where one is coming from, this could be heavy-handed subject matter but once again Dobken’s vulnerability and insightful writing anchor the track giving it an emotional resonance.
As a single, it’s pacing is light and breezy but manages to convey a good deal of musical substance in it’s runtime. The instrumentation including a guest harmonica appearance from famed rock photographer and artist Danny Clinch organically connect into one another and create a cohesive soundscape. It’s a well-balanced piece of production that allows it’s songwriter room to breathe while also demonstrating sonic nuance and style. The end result is an engaging and focused track that represents Dobken’s musical and lyrical strengths and effectively sets the mood for her upcoming release. If this first single is any indication of what the future holds, it won’t be too hard to understand Ms. Dobken at all.
*Rachel Ana Dobken will be performing at Asbury Lanes 9/8 with The Mercury Brothers, you can listen to her song via Relix