Dan Croll is 21 year old songwriter who is an undergraduate at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and he is tipped to be ‘one to watch’ in the coming year. After being awarded the Musician’s Benevolent Fund (MBF) Songwriting Award for his acoustic music he as been spending that award money in the studio.
On the 19th May, Dan played at the Epstien Theatre for the closing day of the Liverpool Sound City Festival opening for James Vincent Mcmorrow. I went to the theatre in anticipation for the headline act not knowing much about his support only hearing the buzz that was around the city for the artist called Dan Croll. Sitting down with my open mind, I watch to see what he had to offer.
His sound was heart warming but also very familiar at the same time, Sounding similar to Michael Kiwanuka in his playing and his harmonies reminiscent to James Vincent McMorrow and Ben Howard, but what else do you expect when they all have had some music released by the Label ‘Communion‘ (which was founded by Ben Lovett, the keyboardist and accordion player from Mumford and Sons) coincidence? I think not.
He started playing his song ‘Marion’ which as soon as he started, I instantly sold. His playing was strong and fluent, and did not waver once even after he started to sing. His Sound is blend folk and indie with some interesting percussive beats which lay comfortably under his melodies. However the full glory of his genius was show when the rest of his 6 piece band joined in at the Chorus creating a huge sound which perfectly complimented his voice and his playing. This continued throughout his set, performing brilliantly crafted songs, each with their own personality and feel. Dan’s performance a wonder to watch and it was great to see Dan enjoying every minute of it, smiling his way through every song.
Since the festival, Dan has been gigging around here and there but spending most of his time in the studio finishing off some recordings. He has a new single is due out in September and boy has he put his MBF Songwriting Award Grant money to good use. The single called ‘From Nowhere’ is one of the first songs out off his time in the studio and it is quick to see that he has spent a lot of detail to the sessions. This song starts with a really strong vibe which drives throughout the track using gritty guitar sounds and some dirty bass lightly accompanied with staccato synth supporting the fundamental parts to the track. You can see more of his indie/pop influence come out in the song which, built upon his folk/acoustic abilities, creates a sound which you just can not get out of your head.
I did not know what to expect from him and his recording. Sitting wondering how his live set was going to translate to his recordings, and again Dan took me by surprise production this single. I fell captive to the song when I first heard it, even if Dan’s style and image kept on reminding me of the lead singer of the band Spector.
The Song so far, has been so well received. Nick Grimshaw has even played it on his BBC Radio One show a month before its even going to be released. That has to be a sign of good things to come for this boy. So I’m going to echo what other people have been saying and say, he is the ‘one to watch’ in the coming year and if you have the chance to see, then do not miss your chance. With a new single on the way and hopefully lots of good to come. Doug xx
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