Johnny Delaware

“Primitive Style” – Johnny Delaware

“Primitive Style” arrives to us fully grown, independent of time and place; it seems not to have been written at all—it just is. Lacking the semblance of novelty that tends to entice the hive mind, “Primitive Style” will likely attract no particular blog buzz but is in fact a deeply satisfying rock’n’roll song, a wondrous commingling of Springsteen-esque bravado and New Romantic ardor, complete with engaging dynamic shifts, well-placed suspended chords, and a killer chorus.

Tying it all together is Delaware himself, whose voice all but croons, successfully, in the softer verses while opening comfortably into full-fledged rocker mode during the chorus. He sounds like someone with something to say, which in rock’n’roll is really more than half the battle. And pay attention if you would to the deft switch to 6/4 in the fifth measure of the chorus (heard for the first time in and around 1:04, on the word “primitive”). The best songs, to my ear, find some way to tweak the relative simplicity of the pop music form, and in so doing aim for the possibility of depth and resonance while remaining accessible to the ear.

Delaware (his real name? seems unlikely) was born in South Dakota and spent time in Nashville, Albuquerque, and Austin before landing in Charleston to partner with producer Wolfgang Zimmerman (himself last heard around these parts as part of the awesome band Brave Baby, featured in December 2012). “Primitive Style” is from Delaware’s debut album, Secret Wave, set for official release in October—but you can already listen to it in full on Bandcamp.



  1. Sean H. Campbell on Tuesday August 27, 2013

    This song is fantastic.

  2. fingertips on Wednesday August 28, 2013

    Yeah, don’t you think? Unsure why few seem to be picking up on it.

  3. Johnny Delaware on Wednesday August 28, 2013

    Thanks for taking the time to write about the song Fingertips. I’ve been telling everyone about this site, the amazing artists on it, and also how talented of a writer you are. No worries about people picking up on it, that day will come. Just grateful for people like you and Sean Campbell.

  4. fingertips on Thursday August 29, 2013

    Thanks for the kind words, Johnny. I wish you all the best with the album, which I plan to spend more time with in the coming days…

  5. Johnny Delaware on Thursday August 29, 2013

    Very kind of you!


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