Semisonic singer on La Roux and Only Real…
Dan Wilson

Dan Wilson is a name that fans of 1990s hit singles might be familiar with, as the singer served as frontman for Semisonic until their hiatus of 2001, a band that saw a few of their songs become global smashes. C’mon, you remember ‘Closing Time’, right? ‘Secret Smile’? That’s right, those guys.

Now a solo artist, Dan is to release his new single, ‘Love Without Fear’, on October 27th, taken from his latest album of the same name. You can listen to the track below, ahead of Dan’s verdict on this week’s new single releases.

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Only Real – ‘Pass The Pain’

“I can already feel this song worming its way into my brain. Agh! It’s got me! Save yourselves! He’s got the classic ‘textural verses, lots of words, can’t understand them – amazingly beautiful and hooky choruses!’ hip-hop formula, which I avoid in my own writing, but for some reason love in others’. Backing track is delicious, too. The video’s bathtub full of Fruit Loops is one of those horrible images that, once seen, cannot be unseen.”

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La Roux – ‘Kiss And Not Tell’

“I love this singer’s voice. Tons of personality, even if she doesn’t have the biggest of pipes. The song gives me joy, although I think the chorus could have been better. Even so, the idea is clever, and the verses are too, and it’s all delivered with panache, and that’s good enough for me. As for the backing track, is it just me or does it sound like a drive-time radio ad for a local business? A jingle? Almost facetiously commercial-sounding, until the instrumental section – suddenly just plain awesome!”

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Angus & Julia Stone – ‘Grizzly Bear’

“The main thing that strikes me about this track is the singing. Angus Stone has a beautiful, affecting, strange voice. I am definitely going to listen to the whole album. Is that really Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave on drums? The grooviest of jazz/hip-hop drummers laying down perfect 1970s soft rock. It’s nice to think a song this gentle and mellow and ‘you come to me, I’m not gonna drag you by the neck’ can be a single, although I fear for its fate stacked up against Nicki Minaj’s bottom end.”

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Buscabulla – ‘Sono’

“A very cool and easy-to-listen-to track. I would have preferred it without the hipster distortion on the vocal, but I guess even hipsters need their sexy female vocals to enjoy. (Give me a year, I’ll probably be distorting my own vocals the same way.) I love the sound of the backing track. Reminds me a little bit of ‘Bongo Bong’ by Manu Chao – that relentlessly repeated single guitar note sample.” 

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Nicki Minaj – ‘Anaconda’

“I believe I am not the target market for this song. But I wish super-horny 16-year-old boys all the best as they watch this video.”

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Words: Dan Wilson
Photo: Melanie Nissen

Dan (online) tours as follows:

October
9th – St Giles Church, London
10th – Lowry Theatre, Manchester
12th – Electric Circus, Edinburgh
13th – Glee Club, Birmingham

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