As soon as anyone mentions a band from Liverpool a few things inevitably spring to mind, The Beatles, The La’s, The Coral, jangly guitars, Ian Broudie, and too much weed smoking. Pretty much every band that has come out of Liverpool in the last few years has been stuck in a rut before they have even begun. Dan Croll thankfully has stepped out of the Merseybeat shadow.
After studying at LIPA, Dan fully immersed himself in a whole variety of different musical genres, picking off influences from far and wide; the world music influence of Paul Simon, experimental orchestral work with African choirs, 1960’s psychedelia, the early sounds of Mars Volta, Beruit, Bon Iver and then more modern sounds such as Metronomy and Dirty Projectors. ‘Whatever is on around me makes it into my head.’ Dan explains, ‘I always like to say it’s a balance between acoustic and digital. I’m between two points. I don’t know what you’d call that, a genre that hasn’t got a name’
Becoming an ever more present figure on the Mersey scene Dan has supported the likes of; Jamie Cullum, Michael Kiwanuka, James Vincent McMorrow, Map & Atlases and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. After playing a rapturously received set at Liverpool Sound City last year, Q magazine picked up on his raw talent, making his demo ‘Home’ one of their Essential Downloads at the start of 2012. His track ‘Marion’ also caught the attention of Communion Records, who included the song on their most recent ‘New Faces’ compilation album.
As comfortable with just an acoustic guitar or backed by an orchestra ‘From Nowhere’ showcases another side to Dan, with pre-programmed Fafisa beats, a fat sliding bass line, and glacial guitars, throw a snake charmer into the bridge and the sound of a vibrating table to provide some fat bottom end and you start to realise why Dan Croll’s sound is so difficult to pin down. This is a good thing. Think Fleet Foxes if they lived in the future, owned a synth and had heard Krautrock.
Recorded with producer Joe Wills in an abandoned primary school gym in Toxeth, (turn right at the docks, past the crackheads) the unique rehearsal space / studio is equipped with an old badminton court and climbing ropes: who needs a £1000 a day residential studio? Dan is continuing to work on his debut album aiming for a release in 2013. After listening to this, his first release, we’re pretty damned excited. Bring on 2013.