Monday, October 06, 2008

Daniel Martin Moore - Stray Age

You've probably never heard of Daniel Martin Moore. That's okay. Neither had I up until a couple weeks ago. I stumbled upon him while perusing Sub Pop Records website just to see what might be new and exciting. If you're somehow not familiar with Sub Pop, firstly: FOR SHAME. Secondly, it is the definition of an indie label and became famous by signing bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney in the late 1980's. Their current stable of artists is like a who's who of bands that I enjoy tremendously: Band of Horses, The Go! Team, Postal Service, The Shins, Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, and Wolf Parade. Basically, they have great taste that generally matches my own. Anywho, back to Daniel Martin Moore. Originally from Cold Spring, Kentucky he sent an unsolicited demo to Sub Pop back in beginning of 2007 knowing that there was only the slimmest of chances it would ever be heard. Lucky for him, Sub Pop took down their "no solicitation" sign for a scant moment and liked what they heard enough to track him down. Although, tracking him down sounds like it was a chore, as he was working at a friend's B&B in Costa Rica. The idea that he received a record deal from an unsolicited submission is ridiculous, as that happens pretty much never ever. And for your information his debut Stray Age was recorded in L.A. during three different spells, the first two of which in October and December of 2007, and finally a third in February of 2008. Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, U2, The White Stripes) took on co-production, recording and mixing duties. Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Tori Amos) played upright bass. Jesca Hoop lent her voice on a couple tracks. And Petra Haden (Bill Frisell, Beck) adds violin for a couple cuts too.

Stray Age is being released by Sub Pop tomorrow October 7th. By now you're probably wondering what it sounds like. Good question. I like your curiosity. Personally, I think he's a mixture of various characteristics from Jack Johnson, M. Ward, Mason Jennings and Nick Drake. He is oh so very laid back and calm that he makes Jack Johnson look uptight. What he shares is a talent for infusing emotion into his lyrics. He's genuinely telling you a story or conveying an emotion. The music really comes through his voice. But at the same time he's not forcing you to feel one way or another. He's putting the music out there for you to have a unique response to it. His voice has a soft and lilting swing to it that sounds natural and unforced, as if the words were meant to be sung that way without any thought. Thankfully, his music isn't melancholy and downtrodden, DMM is looking forward and has a refreshing air of optimism. It's hard to see him becoming a huge sensation, but once people find out about him he'll probably have a solid fanbase. I could see his songs being licensed for TV and film easily, and leaving people scratching their heads as to what that song was playing in the background. It's a nice collection of songs for a debut, and a great story that just goes to show anything is possible when you've gotten nothing to lose except the price of postage.

"It's You"

1 comment:

erin said...

In your listing of Sub Pop artists, you have a glaring omission- Flight of the Conchords...