composer, singer, songwriter

A Collection of Quotes from the Press


“a baroquely unclassifiable [and] maverick song composer” of “ingenious nouveau art songs” -The New Yorker

“the prince of postclassical song…one of contemporary music’s brightest lights” –Time Out New York

“Poppy, slightly folky, and littered with electronic flourishes… Dargel[’s] music defies any attempt at generic classification.” –OUT Magazine

“thinking person’s pop… sophisticated and catchy…” –PopMatters

“[One] of the most compelling compositional voices to have emerged from Brooklyn in recent years… Dargel composes delicate song-cycles that express their preoccupations (anxiety, illness, technology) with deadpan vocal style and an intricate chamber accompaniment…” –Opera News

“Think of Corey Dargel as a Noel Coward for the 21st Century. His songs are urbane and deceptively straightforward, with arch lyrics built of unusual observations, and on rhymes that seem both unusual and inevitable, all set to easygoing melodies with a distinctive musical thumbprint.” –San Francisco Classical Voice

“Dargel’s complex-yet-poppy writing for strings, synths, percussion and his own voice is more than catchy. When a new hook emerges from a thicket of beats, [it] evokes the buoyant quality of unexpected joy.” –Rhapsody

“Intimate, witty, and often kinda creepy, Corey Dargel’s songs strike an uneasy balance between art and pop… Imagine Franz Schubert composing a song cycle about hypochondria after listening to AM radio Top 40 and studying Thelonius Monk…” -eMusic

“Dargel is a wonderfully difficult artist to define.” -Minnesota Public Radio

“…the best way [Dargel’s] characters know how to communicate—through the vernacular of popular song—is still inadequate to the power of their feelings, the charge of each song arising out of the tension that comes from running up against the limits of the musical vocabulary…” -Matthew Guerrieri in New Music Box

“Corey has spent years really pushing the envelope of what you can call an art song and the subject matter you can put in it… It can be unsettling to listen to some of these songs[, but] at the same time…it can be very easy to listen to them.  They’re graceful and well-constructed tunes…” -John Schaefer on WNYC’s New Sounds.

“Vocal concerts can sink under the less-than-stimulating recital format, but not Corey Dargel’s.  His ghostly baritone, precise delivery, and transfixing stage presence transform his performances into intimate plumbings of the audience’s psyche.” –New York Magazine

“one of the more original and consistently provocative artists pushing at the margins of modern classical music and adventurous pop.” -The New York Times

“Musical progeny of Stephin Merritt, with that collision of hyper-Romanticism and urbanely poker-faced ironic distancing…but with the unmistakable complicating impulse and rococo ingenuity of a conservatory-trained…new music-obsessed mind.” -Salon

“Beneath Dargel’s straight-toned, deadpan delivery…is a compositional sense guaranteed to keep close listeners on their toes. Words and music are truly equal partners but are hardly bound to traditional models of prosody.  Dargel has no fear of jettisoning formal music elements to emphasize the words, or vice versa, often letting the songs veer off in totally unexpected directions.” -Gramophone

“Corey Dargel is a composer, but not the bust-on-a-baby-grand kind, or even the check-out-my-requiem-for-two-zithers-and-a-dehumidifier kind. First of all, he specializes in songs (art songs, if you must), and not only that, he sings them himself too. And his songs are about, say, hypochondria, or they’re written to order as gifts from one significant other to the, uh, other, and they neatly manage to avoid that whole po-faced art-song thing.” -Baltimore City Paper

“Dargel’s pop-song trappings are a façade that lulls you into a false sense of security as a listener; before you know it, you’re bopping your head to a very complex series of beats, humming a melody that doesn’t quite line up with those beats, and thinking about the world in a way that you most likely would never have thought about it before… Dargel is doing much more than writing extremely well-crafted songs. He is creating larger arcs of meaning, both musically and lyrically.” -New Music Box