Dan Israel “Dan”
Fans of Tom Petty, Dylan and The Traveling Wilburys will be quite taken by the tight melodies of Dan Isreal. It’s not that Dan is a bundle of sunshine, but he’s a music veteran with typical country-western themes of heartache and loss running through his compositions. “Be With Me” has a catchy bounce and Katie Geartys’ vocal harmonies are a perfect compliment.
“You Don’t Love Me Anymore” is a radio-ready rocker of romance-gone-wrong featuring Adam Levy (Honeydogs) on guitar and Bethany Larson on vocals. The 12-string electric-guitar jangle goodness of “Can’t Believe It” and “Lonely Too” play out like lost Wilco tunes, and overall the quality of songs is pretty consistent. Dan’s been playing for a while (this is his 13th album) and he’s definitely an artist who deserves to be heard.
Secret Trees “Till We Find Ourselves”
Los Angeles-based Secret Trees excel in creating atmospheric chamber pop that soothes – the opener “Beautiful Forever” is a flowing melody with amazing harmonies. Taking influences from Tears for Fears, Bon Iver and The Beach Boys – it really made me take notice.
Unfortunately the next several tracks are understated minimalism in “Some Room To Spin” and the sleep inducing moodscape “Til We Find Ourselves.” Thankfully we get back to something melodic to go with the flawless technique on “Better Things” with its sweet bridge full of strings and acoustic guitar. The roots flavored “The Sound of Your Love Breaking” and “One More Lonely” round out the best tracks. Produced with a lush sonic depth, this is a band you should check out and I hope we’ll get to hear more in the near future.