For those unfortunate enough to have missed their introduction to Dan Croll through his excellent 2014 debut, ‘Sweet Disarray’; they needn’t worry. His sophomore effort ‘Emerging Adulthood’ picks up where the previous record left off, and is packed full of enough genre juggling instrumentation and infectious indie-pop hooks to see you through till he decides to drop his next body of work.
At a punchy 10 tracks long, ‘Emerging Adulthood’ manages to buck the recent trend of over-indulgent full-length releases; delivering a concise dose of Croll’s masterful song-writing ability.
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Opener ‘One of Us’ kicks off proceedings; with rapid drums and screeching guitars, it’s bold and ballsy, and like most of the record it ditches the heavy afro-beat infusions prevalent on his debut. The record is frontloaded with heavy hitters. ‘Bad Boy’ is so catchy that it’s hard to image a future hit-US-sitcom not scooping this up as their theme tune. The spacey ‘24’s vulnerable lyrics and varied dynamics make it a singalong anthem that reeks of millennial nostalgia; where ‘January’ consists of head bopping rhythms topped with dreamy melodic vocals.
This isn’t to say it’s not a party in the back – ‘Swim’ channels Croll’s inner alt rock god; but dials down the distortion and swaps out the screams for tasteful crooning. Closing track ‘Tokyo’ is another standout; with gargantuan synths and thunderous drums, it’s a singalong anthem fit for the largest of arenas and a triumphant wrap up to the record.
Despite being young lad from Staffordshire, you’d be hard pressed to find a more suitable Route 66 soundtrack than ‘Emerging Adulthood’. It’s the type of sun drenched alt-pop that you’d image Seth Cowen and Summer Roberts putting on the stereo at a beach-house party in an episode of the OC; and that’s not a bad thing…they seemed like they had a lot of fun. All-in-all Dan Croll’s sophomore effort is a big step up that sees him developing his own identity as an artist that is worth the attention of all of our ears.
‘Emerging Adulthood’ is out now via COMMUNION Records. The albums full track-listing is as follows…
1. One Of Us
2. Bad Boy
5. Sometimes When I’m Lonely
8. Away From Today
9. Do You Have To?