In the new music video for Dallas String Quartet’s “Better Days” a single kit flutters in the clear blue sky. It’s only on the screen for a few moments, but that freeing feeling and vision of looking up encapsulates what listeners feel listening to this cover track. Originally recorded by One Republic, “Better Days” is a spellbinding sonic experience. Once again, Dallas String Quartet charm their way into the listener’s heart.
The brilliance in “Better Days” is definitely the tone and the soothing violin playing. It feels like home, a safe place to marinate. Lofty and breathy, the violins paint a poignant setting. A kaleidoscope of streams – each color of the rainbow seems to come at the listener as if it were in 3D. There are lots of yellows and golden tendrils reaching out to the listener. A subtle, but present, drum kit awakens. The beats are tap, tap, tap. The sticks are quick. The bass guitar peppers its throbbing bass lines into the mix. It’s also a rapid movement, rumbling its way throughout the song. But, the majority of the commotion coming from the violins. It would be easy for any band to tackle on a bunch of instruments and throw everything but the kitchen sink into the orchestration. I think Dallas String Quartet really knows how to edit themselves and their sound. In the simplicity of “Better Days” the theory that less is more is proven.
The tightness of the strings and the harmonies exuding the violins is mesmerizing. In One Republic’s version the line but any time I feel the paranoia, I close my eyes and I pray, translates well via violin. It’s a centering feeling and the string’s emit a circular motion. It’s impossible to walk away from Dallas String Quartet’s rendition and not feel balanced and re-focused. It’s breathtakingly awesome.
Back to the music video – set in an empty field on a very bright day, the band is playing their instruments. The attire is casual and the musicians throw around the football and kick the soccer ball with each other. It’s like a Hallmark card put to video. The blades of grass, perhaps a symbol of the uncut and unfiltered world we live in, branch out like obstacles. In unison the band and their smiles overcome the trials and tribulations. Each scene would make for a viral Instagram story or picture.
Dallas String Quartet is Ion Zanca (composer, violinist), Eleanor Dunbar (violinist), Melissa Priller (violinist), Young Heo (bass guitar) and Efren Guzman (percussion and drums). Based in Dallas, Zanca moved to the United States from Romania and formed DSQ in 2007. The group is noted for its versatility and millions of fans have streamed the group’s covers of bands like Coldplay (“Yellow, “Viva La Vida” and many more) The Verve (“Bittersweet Symphony”) and Guns N’ Roses (“Sweet Child ‘O Mine” ). They previously covered another One Republic hit, “Secrets”. “Better Days” is a follow-up to Dallas String Quartet’s May release, “Don’t Start Now” (Dua Lipa).