Dan Sharp Opens Up On Excellent New LP: “Between the Brave, Bold and Given Up”

Dan Sharp’s incredible 10 song LP, “Between the Brave, Bold and Given Up” is now out via Tenfold Records, and it is a must-hear! Dan Sharp is a composer and lyricist based in New Zealand, who has just gotten off tour with UB40. This 10 song LP is a strong testament to his songwriting, composing, and vocal talents. The album combines genres such as Americana, Country, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Blues, and Pop. Rock the Pigeon is excited to dive in!

“This album is my attempt at peeling back the superficial and making sense of the truths that sit beneath. In casting a light on shadowy places, I hope this music let’s listeners do the same for themselves with its honesty, its vulnerability and its optimism.” – Dan Sharp  

We start off with “Firestarter.” This song is a set-up of sorts, it sets the scene for the rest of the LP. Sonically, it works excellently as an introduction to the rest of the record. Effected electric guitars and Dan Sharp’s gorgeous voice take the first 30 seconds of the track before the huge sounding drums join in. The full band sounds tight together, setting the perfect soundscape for Dan Sharp to introduce his LP’s main character / narrator. We hear about a teenager who craves excitement and thrills through various forms. He is invincible and full of young life and is overjoyed by new love interests, big cities, and music opportunities.

“Man Don’t Cry” is an emotional track about the opposite of excitement. It’s about growing up fatherless and struggling with both individual and societal masculinity. Without two parents, the narrator lacks a balance in life, leading him to all sorts of troubles like dysfunction in relationships as an adult, and troubles with managing emotions. The song builds on this narrative to highlight how traditional masculinity and the suppression of emotions and vulnerability can leave men (and anyone, really) ill-prepared to navigate life’s challenges. Sounding much like a young Bruce Springsteen in his vocal delivery, there is raw emotion in the rhythms of Dan Sharp’s performance that really resonate. One of the stand-out musical components of this particular song is the electric guitar that riffs in between vocals. 

The sound is more laid back than the previous two tracks on “Champagne Towers.” A saxophone solo makes this track really stand out! We meet a more romantic side of Dan Sharp, and a side of him that shows fear. He sings about having the perfect first date with a wonderful person, then deciding to not partake in a second date. He explains his reasoning to us:

“After an amazing first meeting of a new person, I had a strong feeling that I didn’t want to meet them again, as they were perfect in that moment right then and there, and I wanted to leave them perfect in my head. It got me thinking how things are never as ‘perfect’ as they first might feel and this was a rare moment to allow it to stay that way.” – Dan Sharp

“Late Night Poetry” is another song about romance and dating. Dan Sharp says, This song riffs on how the modern equivalent to romantic gesture has been reduced by many to a swipe on an app in the middle of the night. After hearing a friend complain that no one writes love letters anymore, and then jumping on Tinder, the irony had this song written in about 20 minutes.”  Front and center drums with a simple groove, carry this song. Dan Sharp’s smooth and soulful voice soothes the listener’s soul on this song. This is one of the most incredible vocal performances on the record. Plus, it carries several catchy moments such as the vocal melody and the guitar stabs and riffs. 

“To me Man Don’t Cry and Late Night Poetry are the best ‘songs’, mainly because they were so well laid out in the band room, that come time for recording it was really clear what we were doing and what the songs needed. As a result these songs ind of produced themselves in the studio and at every point it felt really low friction and it came together really quickly. For instance, Johnny walked in with his sax, played one warm up solo for a take on Late Night Poetry and it was perfect. We left it exactly how he played his first attempt. There were lots of moments where it was just right and I didn’t have to fight from a production stand point to try and make it work. Heaps of gains and not a lot of pain!” – Dan Sharpe

“House of Cards” has my personal favorite guitar performance on the record. It’s an out-of-the-box riff that truly pulls the listener in. The first two minutes of this track is just Dan Sharp’s voice and these unique guitars. At the two-minute mark, the drums come banging in, bringing more energy and urgency to the topics that Dan Sharp is bravely singing about. This song is all about the public figures, whom we often look up to or “celebrate”, let us down. It’s about the celebrities who abuse their positions of power and lack responsibility to make the right decisions. Sharp strongly sings: “Your house of cards is ready to fall.”

The next song follows the theme of “House of Cards” very well, but this time it’s not about celebrities, it’s about an old romantic interest. Dan Sharp shows a less produced, more intimate side of himself on “Old Chairs.” Sounding much like an iPhone demo, this recording provides the listener with a sense of closeness to Dan and his feelings. The performance and recording are extremely raw, just acoustic guitar and his sweet voice, singing his heart out. The rawness makes this song one of the most compelling songs on the record. He says, After a significant break-up, this was written on the last night in our first house together, from the real perspective of being alone on the floor in a room without furniture.

Stunning guitar riffs will pull listeners in for “My Machinations.” We return to a fully produced sound for this song that carries a catchy vocal hook. Dan Sharp compares the human brain to flawed social media algorithms. He sings the truth that many have come to realize: “Daydreams stolen by small screens.” Perhaps many of us are giving way too much attention and energy to social media, so much so that we forget to be human. Dan sings: “Mistakes, playing on repeat, caught in the feedback loop I made, my machinations.” A retro sounding synth completes this song, introducing another new sound to the record that cuts across as unique and exciting.

“I had 3 goes at recording My Machinations. It was the last song to get signed off and in direct contrast to those mentioned above, this one took a lot of back and forward. I wanted this one to lean more into the synth space, with loops and a drum machine. Trying too hard to tie it in with it’s themes, I think. I got a mix done on a different version and after sitting with it for a while I knew it just didn’t belong on this album in that format, so I started again. The final piece was the beautiful synth solo and I was in Singapore airport when that came through and I listened there and remember yelling ‘yes, that’s it!’, surrounded by people and forgetting where I was.” – Dan Sharp

The next song is currently the most popular track of the LP on Spotify. “Interstellar Runaway” has a soulful and sincere vocal delivery. By this point in the LP, we really feel like we know Dan. He is great at singing his true colors. This song is all about holding on to hope that things are going to work out. With catchy vocals from start to finish, this song has a captivating chorus melody that will get stuck in the listener’s head. The pre-chorus provides the perfect build up for the chorus to really explode. Dan sings: “Put me on the next train, I need an interstellar runaway, There must be someplace, Where it’s not too late for us.” 

“Oxygenated” is the fastest-paced song on the record. It’s Dan Sharp’s true story of his revelation that came to him during a long breath work meditation session. The revelation he had is truly one for everyone. This song is healing and empowering. This song is perhaps the best songwriting on the record, complete with vocal hooks, amazing guitars performances, smooth transitions from part to part, and an earnest vocal delivery. Dan Sharp has crafted the perfect song. We will be listening to this one on repeat!

“After a 3 hour breathwork session and a resulting trance-like vision, I had this overwhelming feeling that I could choose what parts of my past run forward into my future, and through working on my self and through pain, I could create a beautiful version of the future for myself and my loved ones. The moment of revelation was euphoric and it felt “like I’m breathing for the first time in my life.”” – Dan Sharp  

The last track on the record is “With You.” This romantic song is about a bright future. It starts off quiet and smooth before erupting into Dan Sharp’s brilliant, fully produced sound. The songwriting leaves the listener with a sense of hope for the future, which is a great place to be, especially after all the self-reflection this record inspires. He says: I guess I hope by casting a light on these stories and kind of slowly edging away at my own shadows, people can maybe do the same for themselves and their own shit. It’s all about trying to make sense of things and create some small, beautiful contribution to the bigger conversation.” 

“Between the Brave, Bold and Given Up”  is available on all digital streaming platforms, and in physical form on CD and even vinyl.

Listen on Spotify now:

Follow Dan Sharp on Social Media:

Written by Ryan Cassata 

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Submit an EP or LP, here.

The post Dan Sharp Opens Up On Excellent New LP: “Between the Brave, Bold and Given Up” appeared first on ROCK THE PIGEON.

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