[Editor’s note: We gave our staff 15 minutes to tell us about an underappreciated artist. Here is the latest in our series we’re calling “Give This 15 Min“]
by EJ Coleman
The graph of how indie the music you listen to is versus how pretentious you are about it is a bell curve. You start out with mainstream music, whether that be pop or rock or rap or what have you, at a level where you can listen to the radio and sing along unknowingly. Then you move on to more alternative music, the “hidden gems” that aren’t really that well hidden if you know where to look. This is where you find the people who tell you the name of their favorite bands and use “you’ve probably never heard of them” like punctuation.
Then there’s the darkest, most embarrassing shade of indie. Here is where you try to talk about what you’ve been listening to lately and just get a lot of head shaking in response. This is indie to the extreme where you no longer brag about knowing artists no one else does, only the wish to have more people to talk to about them. Here is where I am with Dan Croll.
Dan Croll is an English singer-songwriter I was first introduced to in 2014, when a long lost acquaintance of mine sent me his song “Home” as I was flying back from Washington D.C. that summer. I admit that I ripped the audio from the music video right there on my iPod, solely because I wanted to listen to it on the plane and, you know, airplane mode stood in the way otherwise. Sitting at the gate I was immediately hooked and I impatiently waited for the download to finish so I could listen to it for the next three hours. It was fresh and exciting and nostalgic all at once in a way I had never heard put into words before and I loved it.
When I got home I was ecstatic to discover his first album, Sweet Disarray, although I’m sad to stay it’s still his only one. The rest of his music was more electronic than the indie folk of “Home”, but in a way that seamlessly intertwined with the upbeat guitar that had drawn me to him in the first place. He has released two singles since so hopefully a new album is on the way, but to me his folktronica has still not grown stale and he’s still that shade of indie I’ve grown comfortable living in.