top of page
David Kushner 2 (Lauren Kim).jpg

DAVID KUSHNER performs at Baby's All Right, Brooklyn NY

WORDS by Tessa Swantek  TALENTDavid Kushner  PHOTOS Lauren Kim  PR°1824 

David Kushner is a story collector, molding his sandy footprint with another's to take their path for a moment as the tide tells their story. He then looks at his own tracks following behind, telling a story of their own as some prints are wavering and unsteady while others are firm and forward driven. His debut EP, Footprints I Found, seems to sing the song of the uniquely patterned tracks in the sand- some made by his own steps, some stamped by others. Kushner’s voice is sonorous- it is full and resonant as words swell like a wave’s ripple, permeating the surface of your skin as you feel each story flowing from him.

On October 18, 2022, his voice billows through the room lined in dozens of light bulbs, as he sings the full EP for the first time in Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right. The crowd sings along, but also listens silently like an ear to a conch shell.

David Kushner amassed his following mostly from TikTok as his singles, “Miserable Man” and “Mr. Forgettable” both blew up on the platform. Before performing “Miserable Man,” Kushner said that he likes writing from characters and creating stories. This song in particular tracks lover’s footprints from their small town to their dream home as their kids’ tiny footprints circle theirs. There is a stripped back simplicity to the song, one that traces a journey to a happy ending. Like a good book, David Kushner’s songs almost always set a scene with a past, present, and anticipatory future. The story’s main character is almost always walking both away and towards something.

At the concert, Kushner said he wrote “Mr. Forgettable” about his grandfather who had Alzheimers. He writes from the perspective of his grandfather whose footprint is fading and almost unrecognizable. The song is as if it is a way to stomp his feet in the outline of his grandfather’s steps to stamp in the memory before it wanes in the tide. Before he sings, he tells the crowd that his heart goes out to anyone who may have also watched a family member struggle with the disease and the crowd reciprocates his call for unity as the chorus reverberates throughout the venue. Another song with a similar sentiment of holding onto what is becoming lost is my personal favorite, “Cigarettes.” He tells the crowd that the song is about Cooper Noriega, beloved TikTok star and mental health advocate, who tragically passed away in June of this year. While Kushner says he was not close with Noriega, he witnessed many of his close friends being greatly affected by the loss. In this track, he collects the stories of those around him and writes about the many footprints that lost their way as the lighthouse went dark.

“You know the waves have so much to say

But it's something that you'll never hear

If you don't stop and listen” 


David Kushner, "Cannon Beach"

Look in my eyes
He's still in there, right?
Did the kitchen change?
What about your name?
You used to be my heart
And now you're just a face


David Kushner, "Mr. Forgettable"

“Burn” is another track in which he steps in other’s shoe prints. He tells the crowd that he wrote the song about his girlfriend’s narcissistic ex-boyfriend. Kushner seems to have a talent for empathy- he is able to feel what others feel to create lyrics that are filled with enough emotion as if they are his, he invents characters as if they are alive and animated, and he reflects deeply on his own experiences, like in “oooWooo” and “Look Back & Laugh.” He admires artists who have a similar talent, like Tom Odell. At the concert he covered the singer’s “Another Love” after saying that Odell is one of his favorite artists. While the songs he covers and his own music tends to be deep and sometimes melancholy, his concerts are not heavy. He adds in lightness through jokes like singing really badly for a solid 30 seconds before laughing as the crowd lets out an audible breath of relief in unison, talking sweetly about each track, and being candid about his anxiety as well as his appreciation for those who are listening to his music. After the show, he took at least 2 hours to meet and speak to just about every person in the venue. I talked to him about his dream venue, his favorite song to perform live, Brooklyn vs. Manhattan, Italian food, and his hope to keep growing and eventually come out with an album. We can’t wait to continue following his path to wherever he’d like to take us!

bottom of page