Some more music from Belgium and with good reason. Dan San has released a very pleasant record.
Dan San is a band from Belgium with one previous record to its name, 'Domino'. From what I understand the members of Dan San all went their own way for other projects, to reconvene in 2015 for rehearsals, writing sessions and recording. The band has an additional member, Olivier Marguent, who added synths and things and changed the sound thus considerably.
Shelter is an album with mostly soft-toned songs, sung in a subdued way, bordering on sounding bored. Not unlike the voice of Joe Newman, the singer of Alt-J. A voice as if treated with some helium and then some effects to top it off. Dan San musically keeps things more down to earth. With a piano playing between strict and playful in 'Ocean'. The piano being the anchor in a dreamy song, with in the instrumental outro some nightmarish sounds as well.
What I like as well is the way the voice of Letitia Collet makes the songs of Dan San come alive. Her harmonies are like blossom or the first flowers after the winter. It tears through the melancholy sound of Dan San, opening the songs up. Her voice would work a miracle in I Am Oak also. A song like 'Seahorse' has far too many instruments or more accurate, are played too loud for I Am Oak, but the similarities are huge non the same. Collet's voice balances the album.
In 'Nautilus I' it is all male harmonies. Another face of Dan San shows itself. This is such a pretty song. The piano works its way, the aah-aah-aahs are all over the place, creating a little magical world where notes fly off on their brooms, leaving trails of sparkling fairy dust behind them. In 'Nautilus II' the band finally goes off a little. The central motive of the song is fleshed out instrumentally, showing that the band can rock albeit in a Dan San way.
Shelter is a serious album. Like Blaudzun is serious, Mister & Mississippi is. Most bands on Snowstar Records are. Dan San would fit there by the way. Working with Yann Arnoud in Paris did leave a little, more playful influence. The typical Air bass sound as I call it and keyboards does come forward a little. listen e.g. to 'Gone Home'.
Shelter is there for those who do not mind truly listening to an album. The listener who likes to follow nuances in the way songs are built up. Who listens through some gloom and goes straight for the inner beauty of music. Dan San provides just that and in several songs just that little more as well.
You can listen to 'America' here:
or buy @ bol.Com