Michael Shynes – Cold Day in Hell

URL: http://michaelshynes.com/

Minnesota based singer/songwriter Michael Shynes has distinguished himself with his most recent single release “Cold Day in Hell”. He’s toured with marquee artists like Howie Day and has coupled his melodic acoustic-based arrangements with what ranks as one of the great new singing voices to come along in the last decade or more. His songwriting complements his musical talents and certainly shows a notable amount of conversational eloquence in trim, focused lines plumbing to the heart of the song’s subject matter. The excellence of “Cold Day in Hell” is, naturally, attributable to a handful of factors, but one of the crucial components fueling its success is the years of obvious wood shedding his skills and personal commitment that goes into the performance. It makes this song one of the more affecting listening experiences of 2017 and a single that impacts its audience on multiple levels.

The light romp struck up by the band is noticeable from the first. It gains a lot from the inclusion of a brightly lit organ line giving it a little extra lilt. The melodic strength of the song is undeniable. It comes across as natural, unforced, and has a polished delivery that, nonetheless, snaps with the immediacy of live performance. The song runs a little less than four minutes in length and, with that running time, finds an ideal middle ground between extended performance and condensed musicality. It runs long enough to make a memorable impact on its audience but never over-extends itself and lapses into self-indulgence. The cool, confident hand Shynes demonstrates with his handling of this song isn’t the result of a novice approach to music. Instead, it’s obvious from qualities like this that Michael Shynes is a fully formed musical and vocal talent and bears the brunt of responsibility for how exceptional this song is.

His voice truly is a marvel. He weaves and dips through the lyrical content, always conforming his voice close to the vocal melody, and following in loose lockstep with the arrangement. His intelligent phrasing is key to giving the payoff lines of the song an added veneer of freshness to what’s otherwise a hoary cliché. There’s a little humor in the song he derives from the title that never runs the risk of falling flat and, instead, has the same bright-eyed intelligence shaping it alongside the rest of the song. He, naturally, reaches his vocal peak with the singing during the song’s chorus. Michael Shynes’ singing performance on this track transforms it from a pleasing roots rocker into something much more powerful, “Cold Day in Hell” is a pop rock gem with equal parts pleasing surfaces and rugged gravitas anchoring everything. It’s one of the best singles you’ll hear in 2017 and establishes Shynes as a performing and songwriting force to reckon with now and likely in years to come.

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/album/1r63rBX8714QYTjAlolEpU

Daniel Boyer