DENM lays out origin story in debut ‘Slum Beach Denny’ album

DENM lays out origin story in debut ‘Slum Beach Denny’ album

We love to see a talented, good-looking dad make it big, don’t we?? Huntington Beach artist DENM’s debut LP Slum Beach Denny is exactly that — BIG. Big style, big sounds, big surprises and big vibes grace these self-produced 16 tracks, out now via Ineffable Records

Four years in the making, Slum Beach Denny has a little something for everyone: from OC-ska vibes in “Find Your Own Way’” to 90’s hip hop in “Kick It (feat. The Patten)” to the surprise beatboxing in “No Break (feat. GDSN)”; seriously, I thought Spotify started playing another artist on that last one. Add in a little dub, a few down-tempo samples and some Rude Boy mood and you’ve got yourself the ultimate summer jam collection — no playlists needed. 

Doing my due diligence for you, our readers, I listened to this album a couple times a day since it came out.

DENM is an artist I’d never listened to before, so I wanted to make sure I gave as accurate a review as possible… with the little context I had. After all those some-odd hours listening, I feel like I actually know DENM as a person now. He tells you all about these intimate bits of his life through music and it’s easy to imagine you’re with him in his ‘87 wagon, experiencing Los Angeles traffic and his lack of A/C, too.

In “Fallin”, you can feel that stomach-turning excitement as he reminisces about falling in love with whom (I assume is now) his wife. The “91 Cadillac” interlude featuring Casey Veggies makes your heart hurt a little, as he laments the loss of his dream car, only to find yourself rooting for DENM minutes later as he proclaims he “used to be broke // now, the kid’s straight” in “Get Paid (Outro)” feat. Darnell Williams. And, if you listen closely, you can even hear faint nostalgia of the music he might’ve grown up on — Sublime, Soundgarden, Reel Big Fish and Beastie Boys, maybe?

DENM is transparent, unapologetically himself and absolutely intoxicating. 

Don’t let the devil-may-care attitude fool you, though. The meticulous level of care this album has received is beyond impressive; I bet there isn’t a single note or lyric in Slum Beach Denny that hasn’t been agonized over for days, weeks, months, years even. Each song is its own chef-d’oeuvre, with carefully selected life events serving as inspiration and DENM as the (sometimes unlikely) hero. There are no weak spots, no songs you skip over because they just don’t slap quite the same as the others. If anything, the ones I liked the least, initially, grew on me the most. 

Except for the early-release single “My Wave”; the moment I heard that cotton candy melody, I was hooked. There’s magic in those three minutes. “My Wave” is a top contender in my book for this summer’s ‘Best Song to %$# To’ and ‘Best Road Trip Song’ and, I promise you, this isn’t the last time you’ll hear me talk about it… or the entire album for that matter. This music I simply won’t forget.

But, Slum Beach Denny is so much more than music… it’s poetry and realness and vibes and an anthology of the life of DENM. It’s an origin story on the grandest scale. Now, for the question on everyone’s mind — “When is DENM going to get another Caddy?”

Purchase or stream ‘Slum Beach Denny’ album:

Track listing:

  1. Slum Beach (Intro)
  2. Califas, feat. Jared Watson of Dirty Heads
  3. Blow It Up
  4. 91 Cadillac, feat. Casey Veggies (Interlude)
  5. Say A Prayer, feat. JAG
  6. My Wave
  7. Fallin
  8. Cereal 4 Breakfast, feat. Sword Beach (Interlude)
  9. No Break, feat. GDSN
  10. Find Your Own Way
  11. Badfish
  12. Kick It, feat. The Patten (Interlude)
  13. Everyday’s The Weekend
  14. Life’s 2 Short
  15. Alright
  16. Get Paid, feat. Darnell Williams (Outro)

DENM – “Califas” feat. Jared Watson of Dirty Heads

Cover photo by Dave Kraina

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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.

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Erika Tai James
3 years ago

Great read Allie! Inspired me to listen to the whole album now!

Kristy Rose
3 years ago

Isn’t it good, though?!??!?!