slimdan’s newest single, “Magazines,” is a beautifully sad song. slimdan sings about an experience close to his heart: dating his now-wife in high school as her dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“Magazines is one of those songs that I didn’t know I had to write until after the fact,” slimdan says. When the artists he was supposed to work with bailed last minute, slimdan found himself “for the first time in a minute - time to think.” He and writer Brian Brundage “decided to spend the day “writing for the sake of writing.””
“We ended up stumbling onto the most personal song I’ve ever written,” slimdan adds. “When my wife (high school girlfriend at the time) and I started dating her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was the first time in my life I had experienced death, and I felt hopeless being the acne ridden new boyfriend in the family dynamic. Going through that experience with her and her family bonded us in a way that I don’t think I was able to articulate until making this song. Brian had just gone through a similar experience with the person he was seeing and once the word “magazines” was thrown out to the room we both knew what to write about.”
“Magazines” captured my attention from the minute I hit play. A piano accompanied slimdan’s sad vocals. The simplicity of the two emphasized the lyrics and the emotions of the song. His vocals captured the emptiness one may feel as they deal with terminal cancer and can’t do anything. The vocals projected the sadness and melancholy of the situation.
The lyrics unfold like a narrative as the listener is taken along slimdan’s old experiences alongside his now-wife as they were dating. The storytelling aspect of the long captured the listener’s attention as they continued to listen in order to know what happened.
Additionally, slimdan’s lyrics included captivatingly vivid imagery. One instance that stood out to me was in the chorus as he sings: “magazines, fluorescent lights, three of us staying awake through the night, close to me camped at the door, the doctors and nurses had seen it before, they said boy you should leave they’ll be fine, i said thanks but i’ll stay by her side.” I could just perfectly imagine them all sitting around, waiting. It was also at this moment, after a couple of listens, that I connected the pieces of why magazines was the title and its significance: there are always magazines in waiting rooms. It emphasized the importance that the magazines held for slimdan, while many listeners may have taken those magazines as something small and meaningless. slimdan’s descriptive images further allowed the listener to picture themselves alongside him as he went through this experience.
In addition to beautiful imagery, some lyrics captured the essence of the song. One of them was: “we went from practically strangers to permanently lovers.” I felt it related to slimdan standing by his girlfriend as she dealt with losing her father, which is “the worst thing that life puts you through.” slimdan stayed with his girlfriend throughout, bringing them closer together.
“Magazines” is one of five songs on slimdan’s upcoming EP To Anyone Who Cares that everyone should listen to and keep an eye out for more music in the future from slimdan.
slimdan is the moniker taken up by singer-songwriter Daniel Silberstein. Raised as a Modern Orthodox, slimdan was introduced to music and playing the guitar through his mother’s love for music. He went to college in Boston and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue music. slimdan became immersed in the pop music setting after wanting to branch out from playing the guitar. He collaborated with singer-songwriter and childhood friend Sasha Alex Sloan on the single “Older.” Following that collaboration, he began collaborating with singers like Diplo, Ethan Gruska, and King Henry. slimdan “just want[s] to write songs and work with artists [he] loves. I don’t take myself too seriously.” His debut EP To Anyone Who Cares comes out soon.
Written by Anne Friedman