Daniel Caesar sounds more gospel and John Legend than ever before on his latest single, “We Find Love”. The Canadian singer-songwriter has dabbled in this kind of sound before but usually skews more towards stripped down soul and R&B on tracks like “Japanese Denim” or “Death & Taxes”. However, although I don’t like “We Find Love” as much as his previous songs, I can’t deny it’s simplistic but soaring melody and Daniel Caesar’s forever impressive and emotive delivery. It’s definitely one of my favorites from the past week: a thoughtful, well-crafted song that deserves just as much (and even more) love than his previous releases.
This song’s mood is beautifully created. The piano is heavy and measured, the kick patient, the gospel vocalization reminiscent of a sunny day just on the other side of the door, another chance just out of reach, encouraging and empathetic, calling to you. What I especially liked was the use of a very subtle, gooey synth, that buoyed the gospel vocals and gave the song a great depth that the piano, kick, and vocals really needed to give the song its extra emotionality. This song captures perfectly the emotions of being at the end of that sadness; about picking yourself up and deciding whether or not it’s worth it to try to love again. The chord progression itself does sound sad but combined with the instrumentation and arrangement, there’s a fuzzy hopefulness imbued throughout. I picture this melodic story as one that begins in gray dawn, a slow motion film that follows someone along through their menial morning routine–brushing teeth, putting pants on one leg at a time, brewing coffee, crunching on toast–before ending with them mostly okay, bracing themselves to go outside in a now bright sunny mid morning, warm and comfortable. Ending with a smile.
“We Find Love” tells the story of lost love and moving on from heartbreak. The lyrics are relatively simple and repetitive and while I may usually take this as a negative, here I don’t mind. The delivery and instrumentation behind each repeated phrase builds throughout the song, its meaning always a bit different with each iteration–a musical adventure that represents well the feeling of trying over and over again to get back on our feet, each time growing a little stronger. One thing I especially liked was the combination of Daniel Caesar’s melodic line with the gospel background vocals at the bridge. It creates a beautiful conversation and even contrast that represents well a conversation we have with ourselves. As Daniel Caesar sings, “We knew we’d come around”, the choir answers with Caesar’s previous words, “we find love”, and the conversation continues as they talk to one another, finding peace and the confidence to move forward both lyrically and melodically. It’s effective songwriting on the part of Caesar and by using simplistic melodies, lyrics, and instrumentation (and variation of these elements), he is able to tell an honest and complete musical story.