As far as the world at large is concerned, mention an artist by the name of Wesley Dean and the subsequent response from likely everyone asked, is going to revolve around a second question of, “Who’s that?” and-or “Is he a new artist?”
Asking such questions is a
fair reaction, given that Wesley Dean is a new artist – sort of.
Widely known as Wes Carr – the shooting star of a singer-songwriter who flew to the top of Australian Idol more than a decade back – Wesley Dean is at once someone new for the world to now meet, and also exactly who the world saw lighting up televisions every week in Australia way back when. The key difference now is seeing Dean commit to being who he really is on and off the stage while sharing the kind of music and down-to-earth experiences he had always wanted to proudly share but was constantly told didn’t makes sense or feel relatable, coming from someone so young and unfairly perceived to be so naïve.
The folk rock styling of “Are You Gonna Save My World” makes the song an easy-going listen, right from the opening motif of arpeggiating, clean-toned electric guitar and splashes of crisply echoing tambourine. Dean’s voice has a good amount of body to it, without sounding too grandiose or intimidating. Combined with the song’s musical framing, “Are You Gonna Save My World” would fit effortlessly alongside music by the likes of John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen. The whole song lines up very well with the kind of heartland roots music beloved in the southern and midwestern U.S.
When it comes to the message
behind this introductory single, “Are You Gonna Save the World” only takes on
an even more ubiquitous vibe.
“[‘Are You Gonna Save the World’] is a comment on society and how we are as human beings these days,” says Dean. “The music very timely for the situation [of the global pandemic.] Who’s going to save the world?” Dean asks.
She said, | Are you gonna save my world tonight? | Are you gonna save my world? | Are you gonna save my world?
She said, | You can try but we all fade to black | Fade to black
The fact that the song manages to resonate with the world’s collective struggles at present is certainly a gift but, definitely wasn’t something Dean planned. “I wrote this song nearly a year ago on my son’s first birthday. It just came out. I rented a room in a church to finish up songs and this song just fell out,” says Dean.
Ultimately however, the song’s ability to serve as a form of mental validation and emotional kinship are what matter and Dean recognizes the significance of that in this first release.
“I feel like music is going to be valued even more as times like these arise people are looking for escapism,” he says.
Though it’s not technically Dean’s musical debut, with its premiere today on American Songwriter, “Are You Gonna Save My World” does mark a debut, as well as a freeing of sorts, for the Aussie artist. The song and Dean’s switch to his real name, both signal a stripping away old constraints and, in a time where everyone is feeling confined, a song channeling Dean’s creative release might be just the optimistic boost everyone needs.