Step Into the Magic –  Damion Sharpe (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Usually, in the context of music reviews at least, when I stumble across someone who warrants the label “multi-disciplined” it is often nothing more than an artist who perhaps plays in a covers band, writes their own songs and maybe does the occasional bit of acting on the side. Damion Sharpe however is more than worthy of such a label. A brief glance through his resumé reveals someone whose whole ethic is based around transformation, that is, an individual’s ability to evolve into the person that they want to be, whatever unrealistic image that might at first seem.

As someone who has studied, taught and shared everything from improv, leadership, transformational skills and life coaching it seems only natural that he should write the soundtrack to his many projects. Step Into the Magic is the perfect blend of positivity and calm, inspiration and gentleness, joyousness and reflection. The title track lays out the direction of travel perfectly, minimalistic acoustic pop and life affirming lyricism, and rather than  do what many do and create a feeling of relaxation through hushed tones and swirling sonics, Damion’s approach is different. For there is a strength and confidence in the structures that he builds, it’s just that he doesn’t build much of it…he doesn’t need to as the natural spaces, the gaps between the words, the pauses between the notes is where the light gets in. Not to mention the atmospherics, the anticipation, the space to think, to absorb.

Tracks such as Avalon add some perfectly haunting strings that thread themselves through the restrained and gentle majesty at work here, mysticism meets mindfulness and Sunshine takes that positivity to its furthest heights. here you could criticise the man for the slightly too upbeat nature of the lyrics but you could also argue that such an approach is much needed in the darkening world of the modern age…why dwell on the negative when you can celebrate the potential in us all.

And that is what Step Into the Magic is all about. And even if you are unaware or even uninterested in Damion’s other work, this is still an album that is worth exploring. Yes, it ties in with the general ethos of the artist behind it but it is also a wonderfully deft and delicate piece of acoustica, and if you find yourself walking with an unexpected spring in your step after giving it a spin, well, that’s just a wonderful bonus.

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