“I’m learning it’s a choice I can make/Every morning that I wake up/to forgive myself and be grateful for my life”
ManDancing‘s Stephen Kelly sings these lyrics with a tepid kind of bravery; he feels unsure that he’s worthy to feel content and is afraid to leave the home he’s built-in sorrow and self-pity. This passage gives way to a powerfully unrelenting wall of sound that feels like there’s an enormous weight being lifted from your shoulders and everything is collapsing around you all at once. There is a comfort in the uncertainty and a willingness to move forward without completely abandoning your past-self that makes “Broken” and the rest of Man Dancing’s powerful debut, Everyone Else, feel like a formative rock album that’s spent far too long collecting dust.
The journey that ManDancing has been on with Everyone Else has been one for the books. The record was initially self-released in 2016 and then re-released by a small label called Little Game Records. This initial re-release was how I first heard this record; at the time I ran a small blog called 36vultures and it was pitched to me for review. I passed on the opportunity then, and today, I’m kicking myself for it. This record is full of some of the most emotionally poignant and deeply personal songwriting to come from the state of New Jersey and you can’t help but get lost in the depths of Stephen Kelly’s bare-everything kind of craftsmanship.
The band has signed to the always incredible Take This To Heart Records and will re-release this masterpiece on Friday, March 23rd. To help hold you over, you can stream the album in full below.
Everyone Else is out March 23rd on Take This To Heart Records and can be picked up here.