The Toronto-based indie dance rock trio, Dan Daly just came together in September 2013 before putting out their self-titled EP Dan Daly a couple of months later in December. The group is hard at work setting up a headlining tour throughout Toronto and the greater Toronto area. Dan Daly is composed of Josh Fumo (vocals, guitar), James Amatuzio (synths) and Matthew Attard (drums). Michael Evon mixed, mastered, and co-produced the EP. Dan Daly conceptually narrates the struggle of losing love through soulful lyrics, driving synths and heavy guitar riffs.
The EP intros with a soft vibe beat before sharply dropping into a Miike Snow style synth beat. Throughout “Semper Hi-Fi” the strong beat periodically pauses to frame the vocals. Mantras such as “you say hey we should get away” and “there’s nothing left here / you said to me my dear” extol the struggle of being trapped in a place and perhaps a relationship that is difficult to navigate. The synths drop off during the bridge to let the guitar lead with anticipatory pauses with how the song, and the story will end.
“Mogul” begins with a darker synth-guitar line before breaking into the heartbreak narrative of the song. The vocals definitely don’t dance around the subject as they start with, “18th months of fighting just to bring this buried anger back again.” The track has a driving tempo all the way through from the synths, to the guitar, to the vocals that exemplify the heated feelings behind the lyrics.
The EP transitions to a more folk-indie rock vibe in the third track that starts off with a lyrical intro rather than an electronic beat. “208/601/214,” which seems to be part of a phone number of a past lover, sets the lost love monologue front and center. The vocalist gets so many words out in the first twenty seconds before he takes a breath as though he’s never had the space to share, “when you put it in my head yours and my love were just the same.” The speedy rhythm reflects the intensity of the relationship in the story.
The album throughout tells a story of a lost love and all of the complications involved in that experience. Dan Daly is aware that they are telling a story, as when Fumo sings, “I knew it wasn’t just a page sown together in the frame.” They break the fourth wall by telling the story and also editorializing the story that creates an interesting artist-listener dynamic. I’m curious as to how they will incorporate that aspect of their songs into performance. Check them out in Toronto this summer.
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