Danni’s new EP “So Real” is getting a good workout in my iPod. This is her 2nd EP written mostly while she was in USA. At only 20 years of age she’s already got 4 years Australian and International touring experience under her belt. A self confessed guitar geek, she plays all the guitar tracks on the CD – oh and hand claps too!
Two tracks which really stand out for me as great songs are the first and last tracks, “Out of My Reach” and “Haywire”. These songs are probably a slight departure from the style and sometimes country feel of Danni’s music.
Beginning to end “Out of Reach” is just a great ballad. I get caught up even just listening to Danni’s backing vocals as a reason for keeping the track on repeat. Its the unusual pronunciation idiosyncrasies which make and which I like about Danni’s voice. These are what also make the tonal character in a voice distinguishable and either listenable or binable. Especially for chick singers. I’m not interested if your voice is a super 14 octave powerhouse, to what degree your gonna rock the club; or just how big your fashion range is when you actually choose to wear clothes. That’s also not to mention writing emotion stirring melodies to the listener. A melody has to make you feel. As soon as this track plays and Dani gets into the verse my heart aches and echos the frustration of the lyric, melody and chord progression.
“Haywire” could be even more a ‘pop song’ if some of the guitar rhythm was simplified or chopped out altogether in the verses. The little guitar joining themes between verse phrases are great and would have more weight too. Stripping back the verses would build to the chorus better. I also would have liked the way the guitar is played in the 1st chorus kept the same in the 2nd (the sustainy – ringing out o/drive). But thats just my produceri-sh take on the song.
The other tracks on the CD have more of a hint of a country/blues feel and provide descriptive story telling representation of some of Danni’s overseas touring experiences ( I assume). “Silence Kills” has another pretty melody in the higher registers for Danni. “Let You Off” is country blues guitar jammer which I bet Danni has a heap of fun playing live. “Sanctuary on 2nd Av” introduces piano into her sound which is a natural fit. The song drifts along with a progression which I’ve found humming along in auto pilot in my head in random parts of the day. Danni’s love and thoughtful use of guitar comes through on the CD where you’ll hear some slide, delay and I think even rotary effects on additional guitar track layers. You can sense maybe Danni is searching a little for a direction as far as where her “style” of music is heading. That’s not to say I want to pigeon hole Danni into one type or style of music. I can say I definitely like the more “non-country” sounding songs on the EP and hope to hear more of Danni’s new music have a more contemporary or “pop” (hate that word) influence.