Dan Croll

PopGun Presents

Dan Croll

Feathers, Lorna Dune

Mar 20

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm


Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Dan Croll
Dan Croll
Dan Croll is a fabulous new solo artist with enough facets for a whole band. He’s the electro boy with links to the folkie scene (Communion Records included one of his tracks on their recent New Faces compilation), a multi-instrumentalist whose songwriting prowess has impressed everyone from former Beatles to legends in the world of fashion and design. He started 2012 with one of his demos (Marion) as a Q Essential Download and another (Home) picked up by Steve Lamaq on 6 Music and ended it with his debut single From Nowhere being hammered by Radio 1.

Don’t be fooled by the Buddy Holly specs – he’s a one-time rugby fanatic whose career in the sport at the highest level was derailed by a broken leg – or by the sensitive acoustica: the 22-year-old is a former nightclub doorman who lives above a strip joint in Liverpool.

Dan was born in 1990 to a marketing consultant dad and nurse mum in Trentham, a suburb of Stoke-On-Trent, home of Robbie and Slash. He played rugby for his school, county and the Midlands, but a shin-on-shin collision aged 17 left him in a cast for a year and his hopes of ever playing for England about as up in the air as his leg.

Music was his other adolescent obsession, one partly acquired from his mother, a jazz, blues and folk fan who used to sing in brass bands. His first love was the nu metal of Blink 182 and Sum 41 followed by – via his older sister – the indie rock of The Strokes and The Libertines. He would later discover the varied pleasures of everyone from The Beach Boys to Beirut, Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear.

“I just got back from Oslo where I played a gig and spent two days with Grizzly Bear,” he beams, ever the pop fan. “I had a wild time hanging out with them. Even better is that they have my Vinyl and ‘From Nowhere’ on their iPhones. They’re a massive inspiration for me.”

At school Dan straddled the hardnut rugby and cool skater cliques. By his teens he had learned to play guitar, bass, piano, the drums, even trumpet. Growing up, he spent most weekends in Liverpool because of family connections, and so it was perhaps inevitable that he would end up studying at the city’s Institute for Performing Arts, where he took a Music degree and his lecturers included local heroes Eddie Lundon of ‘80s synthpop duo China Crisis and Keith Mullen of baggy reprobates The Farm who used to regale him with tales of his mis-spent past.

He won the Songwriter of the Year award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund and was one of eight students picked to have a one-to-one with LIPA founder Sir Paul, a 40-minute session during which the former Beatle praised Dan’s songwriting and apparently said “groovy” a lot. He was grateful for the opportunity to spend time with the most revered pop composer of the 20th century, but admits he prefers Paul Simon and Burt Bacharach. “Being in Liverpool you can get caught up in the history of The Beatles, so you do try and go elsewhere and talk about other people,” he says, adding that, much as he admires the production on tracks such as Come Together, he feels that “Liverpool is just clinging onto The Beatles – I’d rather give someone new a lift.” Dan soon became frontman for a math rock, Mars Volta/At The Drive-In-inspired band called Dire Wolfe, but it was in his third year at LIPA that he pursued his solo career in earnest, supporting Maps and Atlases, Michael Kiwanuka and more. At first he was backed by a Beirut-style outfit with exotic influences and instruments including djembes, shakers, organs and double bass, before recruiting a smaller, more manageable four-piece. Dan’s music has become increasingly electronic as he has acquired more gadgetry, and now it offers a balance between the acoustic/organic side with tracks such as Home, Marion, Closer and Natives, and a more computer-generated approach as evidenced by his latest songs. And they’re brilliant, concise, smart pop tunes. From Nowhere is the exuberant single that announces Dan’s arrival in no uncertain terms. It has become a regular on Radio 1, XFM and 6 Music, and had well over 100,000 streams on SoundCloud, with blogs and websites clambering to feature it, to the extent that it made the #1 spot on the Hype Machine charts. The Prince-ishly funky Wanna Know is, says Dan, “a strange song written from the point of view of a stalker where the person is into someone, he’s become over-controlling, although not necessarily in a bad way! It can be interpreted creepily – I want listeners to have their own take on my songs.” Compliment Your Soul has a pan-cultural feel that reflects his love of the celebrated world music Ethiopiques compilations. “I worked on that track with Swedish Afrobeat producer Johan Karlberg of The Very Best, who themselves collaborated with Vampire Weekend,” Dan explains, “so I’m one step closer to working with Vampire Weekend!” Then there’s the equally Afro-tinged Always Like This, which depicts the highs and lows of Dan’s relationship with an ex-girlfriend.

Half troubadour, half techno whiz, Dan is a latterday Beck, and the missing link between Jake Bugg and Joe Mount. No wonder he’s becoming the prime mover of the city’s first movement of note since the heady days of The Coral and The Zutons, one that also includes the critically lauded Stealing Sheep, Outfit, Kankouran, Jethro Fox, The Staves, Eye Emma Jedi, Mikhael Paskalev, Vasco Da Gama, Ninetails, Neon Lights and many others, bands and singers with ambitions to break out nationally in 2013. Dan is at the forefront of this scene. He’s Twitter friends with rapper Azealia Banks and Mumford and Sons’ Ben Lovett is a big fan, as is designer Paul Smith.

You name it, from useless info to rugby, Dan could have made a career out of it. He could also have pursued his most recent employment as a part-time doorman (he worked at Liverpool’s Le Bateau, where he used to have to confiscate punters’ drugs – “Only for them to be kept under my desk,” he says) or as an extra – he had a walk-on part in Channel 4’s Shameless, in which he had to attend Frank Gallagher’s stag do at a strip club (it was a busman’s holiday, really, considering he currently lives above a bordello on Liverpool’s Broad Street), and another TV role as a Victorian gent involved in prostitution.

Instead, it’s going to be music all the way. Currently recording in an abandoned primary school gym in Toxteth, (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? He’s continuing to work on his debut album for release early next year, and his debut single is being played on a radio station near you right now.

You could say he’s gone From Nowhere to, well, everywhere, in less than 12 months. “It’s been mind-blowing,” he says. “I had every bit of faith in the single doing well, but I never imagined getting daytime Radio 1 plays, some tremendous support from 6 Music, or breaking 100,000 SoundCloud streams in two weeks.”

Now, he says, his aim is to “get some real music out there”. “I want music with life and a bit of a story, that comes from genuine inspiration, to be in the mainstream,” he says. “Not just songs put together in a day by a bunch of anonymous writers chosen by a record label. Music from the heart, with meaning, that means something to me and will hopefully be meaningful to listeners.”
FEATHERS comes after a sequence of bands for lead singer Anastasia Dimou. (Her previous band Cruel Black Dove who released two EP's drew high praise from the likes of NME, The Fader and The New York Post.) Moving to Austin from NY in 2011 represented a fresh start. With a unfettered self-possession, FEATHERS' sound represents Dimou with a room of her own.

Calling on her friends for help, the 4-5-piece live band includes Galexy Gehring (Ringo Deathstarr), Destiny Montague (Shock Cinema/Midnight Masses), Courtney Voss (The Vomettes) and Kathleen Carmichael.

Currently two tracks are available as free downloads on the band's website: "Land of the Innocent" and a remix from Maya Postepski (Austra, Trust) of "Dream Song."
Lorna Dune
Lorna Dune
Lorna Krier is one of the most versatile young keyboardists in New York performing music from experimental to pop on anything from analog synthesizers to toy pianos to Steinways. Ms. Krier has been described as “a pianist specializing in contemporary music, who has become an expert synthesizer player and is helping break down the boundary between new classical and indie rock” (Lukas Ligeti). Acting as an advocate for new music, she has worked with some of the nation’s finest young composers and performers to create exciting new works.

Since arriving in New York in 2006, she has been a founding member of many ensembles including the chamber-rock ensemble, Victoire, founded by composer Missy Mazzoli, which has been dubbed the “all-star, all-female quintet” (Time Out NY). They released their debut EP, A Door Into the Dark, on eMusic.com in 2009 and their first full-length album, Cathedral City with New Amsterdam Records Fall 2010 to critical acclaim. Lorna Krier has also co-founded the synthesizer project Love Like Deloreans, which released their self-titled EP on Friendly Ghost Recordings in 2009 and have performed throughout New York, Montreal, San Francisco, and Boston at festivals such as the Rooftop Films Festival, Knitting Factory’s NY Eye & Ear, City Sol, Brooklyn Arts Council's "Glitch Generation", Z-Arts! Festival in Zion, Utah, among others. Finally, the most recent project in which Ms. Krier has been initiated as a member is the genre-bending experimental improv group, Kaleidoscope Point, founded by composer-percussionist Lukas Ligeti.

Some highlights for this and recent seasons include the Philip Glass and JoAnne Akalaitis production of “The Bacchae” Shakespeare in the Park 2009, Victoire performance at the Bang on a Can Marathon 2009, a silent film sound exhibit with Victoire and a Composer Showcase featuring Lukas Ligeti both at the Whitney Art Museum, an appearance on the “Wordless Music Series”, two live performances on WNYC’s New Sounds and Soundcheck, MATA Festival 2010 and MATA Interval Series 2009 performances featuring composer Tristan Perich, guest keyboardist for the award-winnning Present Music Ensemble in Milwaukee, WI, Western Vinyl Release party with composer Christopher Tignor, the New Albion Festival at Bard’s Summerscape Series 2008 with the experimental rock group Slow Six, two performances for Rooftop Films Festival, City Sol, and Imagine Science Films Festival. Lorna Krier has also appeared in features in the New York Times, Time Out New York, eMusic, Arthur Magazine, Impose Magazine, Village Voice, Tiny Mix Tapes, Matrixsynth, Opening Ceremony, The Daily Contributor and Brooklyn Vegan.
Venue Information:
Glasslands Gallery
289 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11249