Dan Croll: From Nowhere

Lisa Dreher, Staff Writer

In the wake of a terrible rugby injury, British born Dan Croll decided to take up singing and songwriting, and as bad as it sounds, we’re glad he did. Inspired by bands such as Beirut, Dirty Projectors, Erterklang, Cougar, and Grizzly Bear, Croll creates something that is both unique and inspiring, an unpredictable and sporadic mix of styles reflected in Croll’s EP From Nowhere.

 

The first track, “From Nowhere”, appropriately upholds its name. Jittery piano chords bounce along until a thick guitar slide sets the stage for an open canvas. It erupts into planned discourse. Croll’s voice seems to vanish into the chaos during the chorus, as an R&B groove drives the song and a thundering bass becomes its backbone. “Wanna Know” is practically from a different album, maybe even artist. R&B influences are more prominent; as organ compliments Croll’s artificial, flexible voice that is similar to David Longstreth’s of the Dirty Projectors. It is less playful and delightful than “From Nowhere,” however, Croll proves that whatever direction he is taking, it will work somehow.

 

“Compliment Your Soul” introduces drums with Afro-beat rhythms much like Vampire Weekend, and Croll once again creates another hiatus in the EP by a summery acoustic guitar and sloppy, Beirut-esque horns. Into the chorus, “Compliment Your Soul” retains a sense of awakening after the first verse, as everything becomes more pronounced like the other tracks. Dan Croll makes irregularity a common thing to be praised and tested, reaching beyond the boundaries of generalizations.