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Dan Sharp - Album Review: Between The Brave, Bold and Given Up

30 May 2024 // A review by Ben Ruegg

The opening track of Dan Sharp's album named Between The Brave, Bold and Given Up sounds familiar in a good way. It's like coming home after a long day, with cold weather and rain, but opening a door to warmth and comfort. And funnily enough as I write this, the first track is entitled Firestarter. Chords ring out as Dan's voice authentically sounds across the guitar, with little motifs helping to build up the song. I come to think of bands like Zed and Eight. It's a full band sound with driven guitars, solid drumming holding the groove and most importantly to this listener, the sound of authenticity.

Dan explains '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 beauty, its honesty and ultimately, its optimism. It was made with a lot of passion and energy from some incredibly talented Kiwi musicians. Self-funded, self-produced, this is the full-band sound I’ve been working toward for some time and is the culmination of the last few years of writing and performing.'

And that energy can be, and passion is heard from the beginning of the album all the way through. It is obvious that Dan has an understanding of what it means to create an album with a sound and vision. The guitar has that classic feel to it. Staccato riffs and motifs where need be over the top of chords. It is simple and effective, not flashy for no reason.

The production is flash and effective. While self-produced, Will Henderson definitely has his touch on the album offering additional production while also bringing in some serious talent to help him bring the album to life with Stan Bicknell (Kimbra) on drums, Brad Craig (Flamingo Pier) on bass, Johnny Mclean (Tahuna Breaks) on saxophone, and Will Henderson (Janine) on keys.

The songs are well written, melodically driven with the music acting as it should; the base in which the vocal and the lyrics are built upon. Songs like Champagne Towers and the incredible House Of Cards have some incredible builds to it, especially the later. At first I can hear inflections of John Mayer, but when it explodes towards the end, it's a power house. I can only imagine these songs being given some freedom to be explored when performed live.

Following on from that track we have a short track Old Chairs which shows that Dan is able to bring another side to this album. An acoustic driven song with honest and well delivered vocal.

Stand out tracks for me are Firestarter, House of Cards and With You. That isn't to say that there isn't a song here for everyone. In fact, this is an album which would likely have something for everyone. It is full of wonderfully performed songs that capture the essence of what it means to write music that captures a moment in words and music. Dan's voice and playing is incredible and I congratulate him and his team on an album that is really in my mind a classic already.

If you have not heard of Dan Sharp before, I would seriously go and find his music and profiles online to follow him.


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

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