David Kushner has immediately made a name for himself with debut track, Miserable Man. All it took was an acoustic guitar, voice, and yes, magnetism.
When I heard that a track called Miserable Man was doing the rounds on TikTok (currently 145K+ unique creations), I assumed it was another dopamine-stacked single from some A-list rapper, meticulously crafted for maximum viral potential. The film clip probably had a dance to go with it… but my presumption was grossly incorrect.
The truth is, Miserable Man is a gorgeous, sombre guitar ballad from US singer/songwriter, David Kushner. It’s also his debut, and it’s already racked up almost 10 million plays on Spotify. Looks like David, our miserable man in question, is facing a not-so-miserable future.
Some steady fingerpicking pulls back the curtains for Miserable Man. “Let’s pack our stuff now and run away”, Kushner begins in breathy baritenor, tapping into the all-to-familiar desire of escapism. 10 seconds in, Miserable Man could be any curly-haired singer/songwriter with a dream and an Instagram account.
However, the artist quickly distinguishes himself from the pack with a melody as sweet as it is foreboding. Choir vocals raise the stakes as Kushner goes through the motions while pulling off some stunning vocals runs (“All we wanted was a place to feel like home”).
Don’t worry, Kusher. We can all hear many doors opening for you.
@davidkushner MISERABLE MAN IS OUT ON ALL PLATFORMS!!! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! #miserableman ♬ Miserable Man – David Kushner
Venturing briefly over to TikTok, which is essentially the artist’s stomping grounds right now, another facet of Kusher becomes clear. He really, really cares about music. You can tell from his sheer excitement – not to mention emphasis on lyricism, always ensuring the lyrics are displayed in his clips. Miserable Man is a lived experience, and via video media, Kushner makes a convicting case.
While I’m sure Kushner’s youthful energy, magnetism, and blessed DNA will result in flocks of adoration, it was a five-second vocal decision in the single that won me over completely. At the track’s midpoint, instead of following a preassigned melody, Kushner jumps to an unbelievable falsetto: “cuz we’ve been stranded to screaming this out loud”.
It’s perhaps the most emotionally fragile male vocal performance since Vance Joy’s Georgia or Hozier’s Cherry Wine.
Listen to Miserable Man below: