Former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns has finally gone solo, today debuting his soulful and super-smooth new track, Aerial Love. The song is taken from a four-song EP of the same name, which is set to drop on 13th March in preparation for Johns’ first-ever solo album.
Aerial Love (below) isn’t what you’d expect to come from the former guitar-smashing leader of one of Australia’s greatest-ever rock bands. Think less modern rock and more modern pop.
Led by some rather sultry, up-front vocals from Johns, Aerial Love sits atop slow, quiet beats, taking Johns’ sound further into pop and RnB circles. The track’s choice lyrics see Johns’ breathy vocals tell a love story. “We got this aerial love / At the end of the day / we’ll take flight,” Johns sings.
Created with the help of producer Joel Little, best-known for his work with pop acts Lorde and Broods, Aerial Love makes the producer’s influence clear in its minimal instrumentation, long reverbs and use of vocal effects, layering and falsetto.
Given that Aerial Love comes from a man who led Silverchair through the dark corners of Australian grunge and alternative rock across five rock solid albums, the song is sure to polarise Johns’ fanbase. “I try not to look backwards”, Johns has said. “Too many ghosts.”
According to a press release, Aerial Love will get a music video “created by using new drone camera technology”, and will be overseen by Lorin Askill, who has directed clips for Flume & Chet Faker and Phoenix. The video is set to mirror “the song’s weightless, timeless, slyly carnal feel”.
Johns’ last studio effort saw him co-write rapper 360’s 2014 single Impossible. Previous to that, Johns wrote and recorded music with The Veronicas, for their self-titled third album. Johns recently performed a piano-based cover of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit at triple j‘s 40th birthday Beat The Drum celebrations.
Johns has been working on solo material with a wide variety of collaborators, and will unveil a full solo album later this year. You can grab the single immediately when you pre-order the Aerial Love EP. For now, you can stream the track below.