I’m always amazed by a person’s songwriting ability. It doesn’t matter the genre. To me, songwriting is an astounding and baffling talent that’s ten times more amazing than any technology humans have developed. I’ve been trying to figure out how to piece together a complete song for years and I’ve always wondered where the ideas for the collective sounds come from. What’s even more surprising to learn is that the strongest inspiration can come from the simplest things. A chief example of this is coming up with the idea for a song while cleaning an old piano. That’s how Daniel Tortoledo’s Dark Times came about. “The random sound of the keys served as original sound bites for the groove to start taking place,” he says in a press release. “That’s the beautiful thing about art, it may come from where you least expect it.”
Daniel Tortoledo is a Venezuelan-American Folk rocker from Brooklyn, N.Y. After years of collaborating with other bands and musicians, he decided to go solo. His debut solo album Throughout These Years is expected this summer with the video for the first single, Dark Times, arriving earlier this month.
The video is an art piece that was drawn frame-by-frame and construed through a side moving panorama technique. This results in a twisted concoction of psychedelic imagery where pictures of elongated hands and other body parts are spliced together with smears of clouds and skyscrapers. Watching it is what I imagine one would get from taking a few hits of acid and then boarding a ride at an amusement park. These visuals are a nice pairing with the track. The first 30 seconds are a collage of ambient sound. After that, the beat kicks in along with the string sections topped with some bluesy work on the harmonica. The lyrics seem to be a commentary on how divided society is these days. “There will be no future if the present doesn’t shine, blamin’ one another’s not an answer but a crime,” Tortoledo sings.
Again, this trippy little experience all began with the accidental striking of keys on a piano. At least, we can say for certainty that Tortoledo had the idea for a song. We’re left to wonder about whether or not he had the idea for a video at the time. Without a doubt, I can say that I’ve now learned that It’s not always necessary to put so much effort into being creative. Sometimes, the idea just comes to you.