15 Jun 2024

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Dan Sharp - Single Review: Interstellar Runaway

02 Jul 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark

Interstellar Runaway, written with Sam Bartells, is Taupo-based songwriter Dan Sharp’s latest single. This song offers more of the soulful, blues inspired pop he has become known for. His guitar playing is in top form here, nothing too flashy, but competent and at centre stage for the first part of the tune, offering emotional builds to break up the pop single format. His gritty baritone is spirited and genuine, but a little rough in the upper registers. However, this only makes the delivery a little more emotional and I personally enjoy this perceived striving for higher notes in singers. It makes him seem more real, and less of a pop star who can effortlessly nail all the notes in a large range without any tonal change. The song here is very well produced, accompanied by vocals drenched in reverb or perhaps it’s a synth pad in the back and a band that can really drive the song forward with surprising power.

Interstellar Runaway begins with smoothly played guitar arpeggios that almost sound West African inspired like a b-side from Paul Simon’s Graceland or a Robert Cray intro. The star of the song, Dan’s potent baritone enters and just before the one-minute mark the song changes vibe with a more simplistic, rhythmic chugging that acts as a bridge to the next part. Even on the first listen, the listener knows the song is being taken somewhere denser, darker or perhaps to a more expressive place.

Fifteen seconds later, the full band emerges with a crash and propels the song up a notch. The drumming here is especially noteworthy, filled with snare rolls that almost sound militaristic in their speed, but nothing is played too forcefully. Here, I would say there are some comparisons with worship music, and I hope this is complimentary as the professionalism and power of the music reminds me of church bands, especially modern ones who know how to use expressive chord progressions to support heartfelt lyrical performances.

“So you can put me on the next train, I need an in stellar runaway, Cause there must be someplace, Where it’s not too late, not too late for us” Dan sings, or pleads, over the chorus.  These are definitely treated as pop vocals, with noticeably compression and the heavily reverb drenched vocals (or maybe it’s a synth), which creates a rich, full sound.

I would have liked a few more guitar fills, (a bluesy solo would have been nice), and by the third chorus I was a tiny bit over the repetition, but hey, it’s pop – it sounds professional and it’s catchy. Some people may well be desperate for one more chorus and disappointed there wasn’t more. There’s some real great drumming on this number, and as if willing it to happen, sure enough the fade out features the deft military snare drumming.

This song is ready for radio rotation and I’m sure for fans of his work this will not disappoint. Comparisons could be made to early Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes and also the greats such as Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. I could see someone like John Mayer writing something very similar to this and I would assume Dan is a fan of Mayer. New Zealand’s Willy Moon may well have penned something like this.

Interstellar Runaway is a powerful little pop tune sure to grab the ears of fans of these artists and more. As with most professional music I can see this song being used in a tense scene in a romantic comedy film. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean.


About Dan Sharp

Taupo-based songwriter Dan Sharp serves up honest, hard-hitting and impactful tunes.
His soulful songwriting and lyrics are the foundation on which his rich, gritty vocals and guitar thrive.

With musical inspiration that ranges from early guitar-blues through to more modernly produced soul, pop and folk, Dan's sound and style of writing is well rounded, mature and thoughtful. His early work reached the ears of acclaimed NZ songwriter and producer, Thomas Oliver, who has produced Dan's upcoming EP.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dan Sharp


Water Went Away
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Slack Tide
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Ad Lucem
Year: 2017
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Nicholas Clark

SuperMild - EP Review: SuperMild
11 Jun 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
SuperMild is a busy band playing lots of venues and entertaining crowds with their blend of reggae tinged psychedelic rock. Their debut, self-titled four song EP is out now, and it spans the many sounds the band can summon with just three members.
Anecdata - Album Review: Obsolete
05 Jun 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
Anecdata is a one man band, Dan, who proves without a shadow of a doubt that a single person can be far more prolific than a band of many members. He has recorded nine albums and a number of singles, dabbling in various genres (grunge pop as well as new wave inspired rock) and done covers also including New Zealand classic Sierra Leone, originally by Coconut Rough, and two Beatles covers (I Am The Walrus, and Things We Said Today).
Carb On Carb - Album Review: Take Time
16 May 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
Carb on Carb was a busy, touring band until the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. While promoting their first two full length albums, For Ages and their self-titled debut, James Stuteley (drums / vocals) and Nicole Gaffney (guitar / vocals) toured as far as Japan and the US, as well as extensively throughout New Zealand.
Floyd Marsden - Album Review: The Disco Lizards
09 May 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
After two years in the making, Floyd Marsden releases her latest ten track album, The Disco Lizards. Although listed as alternative rock, this album features so much more than just that.
Libbianski - Album Review: Useless Splendour
03 May 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
Unless you haven’t been paying attention, there’s a shoegaze revival occurring right now in Wellington. Many new bands are defining themselves as part of this subgenre of rock; namedropping band names such as Slow Dive, My Bloody Valentine or Swervedriver and leaning into the tenants of the tradition such as utilising effect pedals to create a lush, heavily affected guitar sound, and of course, looking at their shoes whilst playing (where the name of the style originates).
Guilt Grip - Album Review: Guilt Grip
12 Apr 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
Tamaki Makaurau Auckland four-piece Guilt Grip present here, available in the unconventional medium of cassette tape, their first full length self-titled album. It’s an abrasive listen that suits the surreal collaged artwork by Lia Boscu, and one that proudly and loudly celebrates the band’s passions and values.
EP Review: Lava
29 Feb 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
@page size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm p { line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 0.
Tower Of Flints - Album Review: Live at Paisley Stage
12 Feb 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
The true proof that any band is worthy of praise is the live act. Recalling my own introduction to certain musicians, the quality of a live album would often be the deciding factor of whether I would continue to follow a band.
View All Articles By Nicholas Clark

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Tommy Richman
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Billie Eilish
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Post Malone feat. Morgan Wallen
    Kendrick Lamar
    Billie Eilish
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem