The Canadian-Korean music maker and emotional journeyman, Dabin, returns to dispatch his latest album, Between Broken. Dabin Lee is primarily known for his electronic music style that meshes pop-punk with melodic dubstep. Some fans may recall Dabin from his early Monstercat releases or as the charismatic lead guitarist in his close friend Illenium‘s live show. We could never forget Dabin ever since he released his masterpiece, “Lilith” with the talented Belgian producer, Apashe. The last we heard from Dabin, he left us with a heartfelt goodbye titled “Into the Wild.”
Lee is an undeniable genius on the guitar and can string together chords that strum straight to your soul. His latest album, Between Broken, is no different. The Denver resident producer descended into his home studio to tell a new story. A story about moving on. A song about finding beauty in life again. Melodies that melt away our inhibitions and make us feel the rain on our skin. Dabin refuses to channel his inner Natasha Beddingfield because nothing is left unwritten in this triumph over love and heartbreak.
“Between Broken” – The Title Track
30 seconds in and Lee knows exactly how to make listeners feel at home. The slow melody kicks in, transporting us to somewhere simpler. Somewhere we have never been before, yet feels familiar. If Dabin is playing guitar on the track, I might as well cancel my psychiatrist appointment next week. The leisurely pace of this track prepares us for the emotional magic-carpet ride of the year.
“When This Is Over” – Press Repeat
Canadian boys Dabin and Donovan Woods compound their folk and electronic punk styles to serenade us about jealousy and leaving the ones we love. The percussion patterns and calming guitar chords featured in this song are guaranteed to ease your mind. Woods and Lee ask us repeatedly what we are to do “When This Is Over” and the obvious answer is to just start the song again.
Dabin Teaches Us how to Swim Instead of “Drown” with Between Broken
When the waves start crashing down, and the world just gets too loud – queue up “Drown” on Spotify, Apple Music, or whatever the kids are streaming on these days. Dabin jogs our memory with sentimental lyrics and catchy choruses, recapturing his position of Really Really Sadboi. “When the storms don’t seem to end” this song opens up the sky and shines the sunlight directly on our skin. Mokita on the mic and a piano outro? This man means business y’all.
Finding Happiness “Again”
As we get closer to the middle of this rollercoaster, one may feel drained from all the harsh memories popping up. Well, have no fear, because Dabin and MYRNE are here. The melodic dubstep master fantasizes about having dreams of the person we love and the distance between us. This song strikes me as an anthem dedicated to acknowledging the happy times we may pull from the past. The lyrics also guide me to the belief that everything that happened before now was for a reason and although we would relive them, we do not want to go back. The rhythm of the chorus is brisk and it mirrors our heart’s increased BPM when we reminiscence on distant, bittersweet memories.
Somewhere Far, “Starbright” Teleports Us to Space
Dabin taps back into his instincts and fires away a timeless melodic dubstep classic yet again. “Starbright” features formulaic rhyming schemes and some of my favorite vocals since Chandler Leighton convened with Blanke on “One More Day.” Trella sits us down, claps a pair of over-the-ear headphones on our craniums, and demands us to listen.
“I can blame the whole thing on bad timing
Turn back all the clocks to yesteryear
I can try to find the silver lining
But all thе colors seem so dull without you near”
The anthem contains fervid lyrics and singing that envelopes the listener, while also combining that signature Dabin sound that transports us into the stratosphere. If I was an EDM teacher, this song would earn my Gold Star, no doubt.
Slowing it Down for a Moment with “Komorebi”
Dabin knew how deep “Starbright” was going to hit (hurt), and we thank him for giving the listeners a moment to regroup. “Komorebi” relaxes the senses and provides a soundscape fit for a Colorado sunset. The piano arpeggios and clean super saws take us all the way back to 2017’s “Helium.” Downtempo Dabin is one of our favorite strains of Dabin.
You Can Ignore the Red Flags, but You Can’t Ignore These “Smoke Signals”
The Juno nominated producer reveals his “smoking gun” in this head-on collision of vehemence. “Smoke Signals” highlights just how talented Dabin is with only six strings and a DAW. The only hazy addiction we have to curb is our internal yearning for this diaphanous song to continue playing forever.
“Holding On” Fills That Empty Space on Your Side of the Bed
A bop. A melodic dubstep anthem. If you haven’t heard it before the album dropped, I would love to know the strain of rock you have lived under for the past 2 years. All jokes aside, Dabin and Lowell fabricate a fantastic love letter to all things left behind. Sometimes people come into our lives for a reason, and sometimes they do not. Either way, the moments and lessons we learn from those that stay and those that leave end up being the tools we use to make it one more day. “Holding On” is one of those essential mechanisms to make peace with our pasts.
Koste & Dabin Collaborate on “Forever”
“Baby, maybe it’s better this way.” I agree. When Dabin comes through my speakers, it is definitely better this way. I always appreciate when melodic producers crank up the BPM in their tracks, like Louis the Child did on their latest album Euphoria. “Forever feels like when the sun is shining and you had really good coffee and feel like you could conquer the world.” – The cashier at my local taco joint. A zestful and bouncy beat amidst sad songs about loneliness is sure to cheer up even the most anti-social pessimist. I don’t think we are ready yet, but “Forever” gives us a sliver of hope.
William Black & Dabin Hop in the SadBoi DeLorean with the EDM/Punk Anthem “Ready”
Am I listening to the magnificent electronic/acoustic album Between Broken at my desk in the basement or am I walking through the gates of Vans Warped Tour in Houston circa 2011? Holy Moly. William Black and Dabin channel their inner EmoNiteLA with “Ready.” This write-up would have been done hours earlier but I had to sprint to the nearest Hot Topic and see if they still had the Sleeping With Sirens t-shirt I used to rock everywhere.
Please don’t runaway from me
Pick up on all of the signals
You scream “I’m ready to let go”
We don’t have time to regret though
Are you ready now?
Dabin and Black secure a memorable ode to the Pop-Punk while also infusing their respective songwriting and melodic drop talents. A song for the ages, for all ages. Are You Ready Now? I sure freakin’ hope so.
“Hope It Hurts” Makes us Feel Better About Egging our Ex’s Car That One Time
A personal favorite. A song that will stand the tests of time. One of the most spiteful songs you could send someone a Spotify link for. “Hope It Hurts” encapsulates all the angst one could possess over a bad breakup. My Chemical Romance? More like this romance was entirely chemical. Avenged Sevenfold? Nah, I hope your heart breaks seven-fold. Gerard Way would be proud. Essenger and Dabin certainly did not do their worst because this song definitely hurts.
How Could We Forget “Remember”
Dabin tags in Noelle Johnson on this cool, calm, and collected ditty. Cherubic vocal effects and those piano chords we cannot get enough of. The airy atmosphere lifts us up out of our chairs and carries us a bit closer to where we are supposed to be. At 2 minutes and 31 seconds, the captain of this sad-ship rips the ground out from beneath our feet. If you cannot remember the way the light hits their face, listen to these melodies until you can.
When I Listen to Between Broken, I “Feel Like” Home
“Feel Like” culminates everything the listener has felt in the last 41 minutes and 27 seconds. A great man or woman once said, “We can only learn to love by loving.” I have no clue who said it, but it seemed fitting for the occasion. Dabin commandeers a paradisiacal journey through love, heartbreak, and finding ourselves again. There truly is no place like home, and once you learn to love yourself; your mind finally starts to feel like a shelter instead of a refuge.
Cappa and our favorite guitar-smashing Sadboi synthesized a heater that assimilates the pop-punk sound we yearn for. Couple that with captivating lyrics that make crowds scream at the top of their lungs and that’s all folks.
Listen to Between Broken by Dabin and check out his other masterpieces HERE
Buy tickets to his Into the Wild tour while you’re at it, too!
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from Dabin, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.
During October, we also recognize National Sarcastic Awareness Month. Obviously, this is a massive cause for celebration. At Electric Hawk, we know how tough the world can be to the sarcastic. We recommend sending half of your paychecks to the most sarcastic person you know, then thanking them for their service.