With continuous success in the indie-folk and pop music scene, David Kushner is taking the world one storm at a time with his personal and moving music. He’s slowly and consistently becoming a household name in the music industry. Many still remember the viral TikTok from two years ago with David singing a snippet of his song ‘Miserable Man’, and now he’s slowly and consistently becoming a household name in the music industry.
David’s garnered an audience that have become regular theatregoers of his own play, embodying his spirituality in his songs and his baritone. The skill and talent that he’s invested in to create mystic scenes over a diverse and haunting backdrop with his music is undeniable, and the success of ‘Daylight’ is further proof of his position as a rising star.
With a series of tracks all about the human experience, David doesn’t just focus on his own stories, but gives his listeners different layers for understanding life and its web of realities and feelings. Songs like ‘Mr. Forgettable’ would easily tug on your heartstrings, no matter how many ways one can interpret his songs.
While he’s a newcomer with a handful of songs to go by, David moves at a pace that suits him best, with almost all his recent singles quickly gaining attention. Among the handful, here are our favourite tracks that you should definitely include in your playlist:
1. Skin and Bones
‘Skin and Bones’ is David’s most recent release. The song starts with his signature piano playing, and of course, his lyricism heavily influenced by religion. David introduces us to his feelings of desire and temptation and the journey he takes before giving in to the feelings of the flesh. He regrets, yet enjoys, losing his self-control. He chastises his illusory tempter, yet begs for their touch. ‘Skin and Bones’ sings of the irony in loving and the heart’s confusion between love and lust, right and wrong.
2. Miserable Man
‘Miserable Man’ is the song that launched this rising star to the world stage. The music is picturesque, if a song can even be described that way, because of the scenes it paints out that can only be described as safe and quaint. Here, David sings about living a miserable life and labelling himself as the miserable man. He lays out his struggles bare, then takes the leap to do what’s best for himself, slowly leading him out of his little pit of despair. Once out, he finally lives and grows the way he wants. Concluding his story of perseverance by appreciating the relics of his past as the miserable man, this track is almost like a letter of gratitude to the David of the past.
David’s first Billboard Hot 100 entry, ‘Daylight’ is another song filled to the brim with biblical undertones juxtaposed with his own concept of persona. Themes of darkness and light, yin and yang, are tackled in the lyricism, but there’s more than just the difference of black and white. He sings about shame and self-forgiveness, and how hard we try to self-sabotage and bring ourselves down. David eventually accepts his own darkness as a part of himself, knowing that he’ll be able to step into the light one day, even if he needs the help of a higher power to do so. It’s almost hard to believe that David composed this song one day while messing around with his piano.
‘Mr. Forgettable’ is a personal favourite of many, because the song itself is so haunting, evocative, and based on a very specific and real experience that many others have gone through. The song’s inspiration stems from a beloved family member that passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, and David channels the pain of his loss in his lyrics.
David sings in the perspective of a man that is slowly fading away and losing every bit of his memories, and he tries to understand his struggles. The man slowly loses his own identity, unable to tell who he really is, while at the same time only recognizing the familiarity of his environment, but not knowing where. The core of ‘Mr. Forgettable’ focuses on the loss of memories and the tolls it takes on people who were worth remembering.
5. Elk Grove
Grief is a universal experience, and in ‘Elk Grove’ David sinks into the sea of his mourning instead of fighting its waves. The song is delicate, wistful, and sad, but almost too tender and passionate to be called an elegy. The lyrics portray a journey of longing and remembrance, like a final love letter before the closure. In ‘Elk Grove’, David understands and lets himself experience the pain of his loss, before finding peace and comfort in the treasures of his memories.
It’s rare to find an artist who cares about their craft and gives a certain type of rawness and authenticity to their music. While he’s only released an EP and several singles, it’s worth looking forward to the possible album in the near future. To be able to catch the hearts of people around the world is not an easy feat, and David Kushner definitely is one of the young artists to watch out for.