Duane Dolieslager
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Duane Dolieslager


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Would you like to hear some more tunes?"

Listen to more catchy, indie pop songs at:



- Of course you would!

"Not Lame Recordings"

Major find for fans of Michael Penn, Neil Finn, and The Rembrandts’ style of pop. . . a kaleidoscope of interesting colors, there’s a warm, intimate feel to all this well-crafted material, complimented by arrangements attuned to Dolieslager’s vision. A bright new voice on the pop scene. Take note: Extremely highly recommended!

- Bruce Brodeen


I finally got to listen to this wonderful CD. Dolieslager's wry lyrics and tuneful songs are perfect for a rainy day here. Fans of Michael Penn and The Rembrandts will enjoy this album immensely. This is beautifully crafted pop with just the right amount of catchiness and quirkiness as evidenced in the mid-tempo song "Anchor," which mix it's melody with a bit of heartache. "Like Day and Night" is a high spirited romp, if you can imagine Elliot Smith as lead singer of the Monkees here. "Carousel" is a bit more reflective and follows a music box styled tempo. Even simpler is "Between the Pages" song about romantic yearning - with a nice steel pedal guitar adding emphasis here. "Nowhere in Record Setting Time" is a little vaudevillian-styled tune that Harry Nillson fans will respect. In fact, Duane's songwriting style is not unlike Nillson, weaving emotions and descriptive pictures together seamlessly. Not every track is stellar ("Close to the Bottom" feels like filler here) but so much is so good it will find a favorite spot in your music collection and Duane is an artist that has an amazing debut and an excellent future. - Review of "The Opposite of Optimist"

"Review of "The Opposite of Optimist""

People first began noticing Duane Dolieslager’s music when his fresh take on Michael Penn’s “I Can Tell” became a fast favorite on the online Penn tribute album “Look What the Fans Drug In.”

A few months later, Dolieslager announced the release of his first CD, “The Opposite of Optimist.” Although this record may be his debut, it certainly doesn’t sound like it. These 12 tracks showcase both his songwriting ability and the pleasant timbre of his voice, and Dolieslager pulls it all together with a playful confidence.

Some highlights:

Carousel – From a driving music box beat to a rich fullness that weaves in and out of the song, “Carousel” is both a beautiful and melancholy ride.

Like Day and Night – There’s almost a Beach Boys vibe in this modern-day take on the “opposites attract” theory.

Anchor – From the early statement of, “With my head so full of thoughts in which you’ve starred, it shouldn’t be this hard to ask you how you feel,” this song captures the sweet torture of being unable to read the intentions of the one who matters most.

Between the Pages – Dolieslager’s vocal range really shines here, with the strains of lap steel adding a touch of yearning to this powerful yet soft track.

Nowhere in Record Setting Time – This quirky song, which is already a favorite among those who have visited Dolieslager’s myspace page, is one of the standouts on “Optimist.” It’s the type of song that would fit right in on a Jon Brion album, which is, again, a rare feat for a debut—or any record for that matter.

Fireflies – Another sure favorite, “Fireflies” is infused with soaring vocals reminiscent of early Billy Joel. It’s the type of song that reminds one of the unabashed happiness of falling in love for the first time or the sleepy contentment that comes at the end of a perfect day.

Close to the Bottom – From the opening line of “I don’t really want to let you go; I don’t really want to try harder, though…” this song explores the gray area of a love that may be falling apart. Torn between staying with the familiar or ending a relationship for good, Dolieslager’s realistic take is a refreshing departure from the black and white situations often depicted in mainstream music.

I Won’t Let You Go – In a love song that’s earnestly sweet without becoming saccharine, Dolieslager’s witty lyrics turn various clichés on their heads such as, “It’s clear that we’ll need more than luck when every four leaf clover…ends up being one more new leaf we’re unwilling to turn over.”

—Michele Mari
Contributor to Apple.com
- Michele Mari

"Review of "The Opposite of Optimist""

It’s the rare CD that can significantly alter the trajectory of your day, for the better, without resorting to the cloying and sing-songy, clichés that all too frequently infuse commercial pop music. In fact, after scouring my own CD collection, I could only identify but several recent examples of such gorgeous oddity: Aimee Mann’s I’m With Stupid, The Shins’ Wincing the Night Away, The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and The White Stripes’ White Blood Cells, as well as Weezer’s venerable self-titled debut. Well, ladies and gentlemen, add another to this esteemed list: Singer-songwriter Duane Dolieslager’s debut The Opposite of Optimist.

That is not to confuse Optimist’s mellifluous rhythmic energy with the saccharine giddiness of adolescent infatuation that permeates most current pop fare. To the contrary, Dolieslager is a man with a lot on his mind. We can decipher, from songs like “Anchor” and the jaunty yet forlorn “Like Day and Night,” that there has been love gained and lost, though more the latter. His lyrics, at a closer glance, read like a cynical poet scorned by his love for being in love; and he wields this poetry like some kind of jaded cupid who has recently discovered the true complexities and politics of love. However, due to his considerable musical talents (in addition to vocals and guitar, he also plays bass and drums exceedingly well), Dolieslager has the uncanny ability to marshal all of his lovelorn angst into haunting, beautiful, and, yes, catchy melodies (You too will be singing along, at peak volume, with “Fireflies” and “Carousel” in no time.)

Still, as its name reveals, this is no album for those with a fixation for happily-ever-afters. In the end, what makes Dolieslager’s debut so appealing is his ability to fuse haunting instrumentals with blunt, brutal, and deliciously ironic lyrics. In this, he reveals a complex soul, something that simply no longer exists in most pop music.

- Brock Cohen

"A Sure-Handed Debut That's Kept Me Smiling for Days"

This exteraordinary debut effort brings clever, witty, thoughtful lyrics joined with catchy, hook-laden melodies for an accomplished and eclectic collection of songs. From up-beat and rockin' to earnestly acoustic, Dolieslager's insistant investigation of love that doesn't always conquer all is a rollicking good time, holding secrets and surprises for the patient listener.

- Jonathan Sheen


This cd is great . . . chock full of happy, infectious pop melodies that'll keep you humming long after your cd player is turned off.
To me, he sounds kinda like Matthew Sweet.
And it has a cool CD cover to boot!
- unknown


The Opposite of Optimist (2007)



Imagine that Ben Folds, Michael Penn, Matthew Sweet, Aimee Mann, Rhett Miller, and the Shins are involved in a horrible bus accident. They'd all be dead. Then you would probably find yourself listening to the music of Duane Dolieslager.

Dolieslager describes his debut album "The Opposite of Optimist" as "twelve tracks of melodic, indie pop for you to savor as you stumble through life." When questioned as to why the album wasn't simply titled "Pessimist," the singer/songwriter explains that being the opposite of optimist is the optimistic way of looking at being a pessimist. So goes the album.

Often teetering on the brink of despair, Dolieslager manages to capture constant glimpses of shimmering, silver linings throughout the record. One such silver lining is found in the song "Shuttle," the tale of an overly eager romantic who spontaneously embarks on an excursion to outer space in order to profess his feelings for his love interest by "skywriting words up in space that I just can't say to your face," only to realize that he can't bear to be without her long enough to complete the mission.

Dolieslager maintains a vibrant spirit amidst unlucky situations with his persistent "oh well" attitude as evidenced in the song "Fireflies," when love fizzles out almost before even beginning: "there's no doubt, the fireflies no sooner came than burned out . . . let 'em go." On "I Won't Let You Go," his down-to-earth, pragmatic sensibility comes full force with the line "here's to hoping we can make it safe and sound, the merriest of all go-rounds, though I know sometimes I'm gonna let you down, I won't let you go."

This up-and-coming, Los Angeles-based, pop/rock performer has no reason to be pessimistic about his future in the music business. Having already made his full band debut at the House of Blues on Hollywood's Sunset Strip, Dolieslager recently celebrated his CD release, opening for major label artist Tyrone Wells in front of a sold out crowd at the Roxy Theatre.