12 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At age 18, Dan Croll moved from Staffordshire, England, to Liverpool to attend the Paul McCartney–founded Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he won the national Songwriter of the Year award presented by the Musicians Benevolent Fund. This led to a recording contract, several singles, and finally this long-awaited debut album, Sweet Disarray. Traces of McCartney can be heard in the melody and the adventurous pop textures of “Thinkin Aboutchu,” where a roller-rink organ gets tossed among the assorted beats. “Wanna Know” throws a bizarre falsetto vocal performance into the chorus. Polyrhythms work their way through “Compliment Your Soul.” The productions, in general, are extremely fussy. Whether this improves or distracts from the songs depends on one’s preferences. (An XTC fan would likely be enthralled.) It disrupts the flow of “Only Ghost” but adds heavenly atmospherics to the title track, “Maway,” and “Must Be Leaving.” As a young man, Croll indulges his whims. Where these impulses take him from here should prove interesting. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

At age 18, Dan Croll moved from Staffordshire, England, to Liverpool to attend the Paul McCartney–founded Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he won the national Songwriter of the Year award presented by the Musicians Benevolent Fund. This led to a recording contract, several singles, and finally this long-awaited debut album, Sweet Disarray. Traces of McCartney can be heard in the melody and the adventurous pop textures of “Thinkin Aboutchu,” where a roller-rink organ gets tossed among the assorted beats. “Wanna Know” throws a bizarre falsetto vocal performance into the chorus. Polyrhythms work their way through “Compliment Your Soul.” The productions, in general, are extremely fussy. Whether this improves or distracts from the songs depends on one’s preferences. (An XTC fan would likely be enthralled.) It disrupts the flow of “Only Ghost” but adds heavenly atmospherics to the title track, “Maway,” and “Must Be Leaving.” As a young man, Croll indulges his whims. Where these impulses take him from here should prove interesting. 

TITLE TIME

About Dan Croll

A British singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (piano, trumpet, guitar, bass, drums, and organ among them), Dan Croll combines folk elements and classic Paul Simon-like melodies with electronic beats, African polyrhythms, and guitar hooks, giving his work a lot of varying sounds and dimensions. He was born July 18, 1990 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, moving to Liverpool when he was 18 years old to attend the Paul McCartney-founded Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. While there, he won the national Songwriter of the Year award presented by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and the attention the award generated eventually led Croll to sign with Turn First Records early in 2012. The label released a debut single, "From Nowhere," in the fall of the same year, with a second single, "Compliment Your Soul," following in the spring of 2013. His debut LP, Sweet Disarray, arrived on Decca Records in March 2014. It was a Top 30 album in the U.K. and landed on the Billboard Heatseekers chart in the U.S. With production by Ben H. Allen (Matt and Kim, Washed Out), his second full-length, Emerging Adulthood, saw release by independent label Communion Music in the summer of 2017. ~ Steve Leggett

HOMETOWN
Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshi
GENRE
Pop
BORN
July 18, 1990

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