Nearly a decade after Hozier’s dramatic and swift introduction to mainstream music with “Take Me To Church” and “Work Song,” a young disciple of his style and persona has slipped his way into the ether. David Kushner, a singer/songwriter from Chicago, made waves with singles like “Miserable Man” and “Mr. Forgettable,” both of which gained major traction on Tik Tok.
He attracted the attention of Lauv, who brought him out on the road as an opener for select dates of last year’s summer tour, along with Hayley Kiyoko. He recently scored another big opening slot, this time for Dean Lewis in Europe.
In what could be a major career moment, his new single “Daylight” has garnered almost 20 million streams on Spotify and 3.2 million views for the music video on YouTube in its first few days of release.
Kushner sounds far beyond his years with his deep, huskier barite-nor voice and poetic lyrics that highlight both his emotional maturity and his ability to convey those emotions in a convincing manner. The lyric, “How are we standing from misery to this now?/Cause we’ve been stranded to screaming this out loud,” from “Miserable Man” is heavy, but Kushner sells it well, performing with a conviction that is natural and raw.
On “Daylight,” Kushner sinks his teeth into a haunting piano track with his low register quivering and nearly faltering beneath him. Even when he jumps the octave in the chorus, he sounds no less pained. No less afraid of his current state of affairs: “Oh I love it and I hate it at the same time/Hidin’ all of our sins from the daylight.”
His religious background, which he has alluded to as an important aspect of his life, is acknowledged here. The song is a nod to the biblical references of his upbringing: “Tellin myself it’s the last time / Can you spare any mercy that you might find if I’m down on my knees again? / Deep down, way down, Lord, I try.” Whatever his sins are, he’s not the sole perpetrator, but is firmly taking responsibility and is awaiting the punishment: “This lust is a burden that we both share / Two sinners can’t atone from a lone prayer.”
The music video for the track shows Kushner taking on physical and emotional distress in an attempt to process and bear the burden of his wrongdoing. “Daylight” is his most complex and artistic track yet and is one that may be the tipping point of a budding career.