Christopher Dallman retains the sultry style of Lucinda Williams’ intensely felt “Essence” updating it with a futuristic glow. The whole of the track retains that initial yearning, even the careful western twang that helps to anchor it. His vocals are a carefully considered reimagining of the work, making sure that every detail reverberates into the infinite. Small details matter for his stripped-down minimalism is a unique parallel to the Lucinda’s original. Akin to her work, the way that the song’s careful tempo has a considerable stately presence to it feels outright glorious. Rhythms here underpin the track giving it a bit of a languid presence, one that neatly captures the reflective nature of the original.
Stylistically, his work retains its own uniqueness behind it. In terms of its distinct acid meets western spirit, Underworld’s “Cowgirl” proves to cover similar ground. Like Underworld, Christopher Dallman couches the western in the electronic, while refusing to fall into either. All good covers though have a respect, even a reverence for the original, and Christopher displays that care throughout the entirety of the journey. The small flourishes matter a lot for there is something to be said for the way he tweaks each and every twist of the piece. Even closer, Depeche Mode’s darkened gothic yearning electro-western works feel a direct connection to Christopher’s subtle hues, for the electronics have a deep restraint to them, one that feels outright beautiful to behold.
Vocals mixed with a Belgian New Beat sort of stance introduce the piece. The implied longing proves to be the main focal point. His adherence to the emotional rather than the production aspect meets that even in its digital format, he retains an industrial edge to the grooves. Building up gracefully, he lets these layers filter into the fray resulting in a dark beauty. Upon the inclusion of his voice things begin up in earnest. At first whispering, the way the lyrics grow in power has a small triumphant to it. Every layer intermingles with the last, as the evolution of the groove goes for a bit of happiness behind it. Quite ornate, he brings the many layers into the mix resulting in something that retains that initial spark. His voice has a compassionate element to it one that feels doubly wonderful as the song comes to a cathartic release for the finale.
“Essence (Lucinda Williams Cover)” shows off Christopher Dallman’s undeniable range and outright affection for the slow and steady pace of the original.