Dan Mills Fiction in Photographs is an ode from a New York newcomer in many ways. He croons about love, loss, loneliness and how change is imminent in life. “Drive Away” which opens up the album is a short snippet where he sings about driving away, pushing yourself towards a new purpose. The third song, “Ballad,” with its lyrics, “Manhattan ain’t got nothing on a good friend,” describes how life can be crazy in a big city, yet the challenges one can face are worth the effort. The guitar playing is delicate and airy, complementing its subject matter.

Each song on Fiction in Photographs is driven by Jason Mraz and John Mayer-like guitar serenading, with simple drumbeats and easy listening bass. One of my favorites is “Not Calm,” which is a little depressing, but it hits you in your throat as its lyrics remind you of the end of our lives and how we are remembered by a cold stone. The piano, violins and cello are haunting and even though the song is sad in nature, it is uplifting because at its core is love.

Overall, Dan Mill’s Fiction in Photographs is a staple album for any young optimist who knows that the challenges in our lives are what make us and that being on our own completing overhauling our lives in a new city isn’t as scary as it seems.