By Shannon Carlin

In the six months since last spoke with Dan Croll –who was not only one of our 2013 New Music to Know artists, but was kind enough to play our acoustic showcase during last year’s CMJ– he’s released his full length debut, Sweet Disarray, and earned himself quite an enthusiastic fan base.

So enthusiastic in fact that they’ve taken to throwing gifts onstage, specifically articles of clothing. At a recent show in Manchester, England, Croll even found a very large pair of underwear with his name on it. “Yeah, it was weird,” Croll said. “But I think it’s a good sign. With the tour, every date was sold out. It’s great to be playing headline shows and filling them out and see that people are enjoying the show.”

The English singer, born and raised in Liverpool, says his first album is a mixtape of songs both old and new that show what he’s been up to the last five years. Each song touches on his own experiences whether its love –both lovey dovey and stalkerish– or coping with his grandma’s Alzheimer’s disease. Croll has a way of speaking one on one with his fans through his music, making it of little surprise that these people would feel comfortable enough to throw their (hopefully, clean) undergarments on stage. “I don’t have any fear of being too honest,” Croll said. “I just want to connect.”

While talking with, Croll shared the stories behind five songs off his debut, which include one that was inspired by the boy bands of the ’90s and another by J-pop. We’ll let you decide, which one of those is more surprising.


 “From Nowhere”

“It was just not the right relationship to be in,” Croll explained of the song, which is about the time he dated a girl who liked to party a bit too much.

But when Croll thinks of this song, he doesn’t really think about the girl who got away, he thinks about the organ he gained after spotting it on the side of the road. “It was all about creating a strong foundation,” he said. “To keep it kinetic and not focus on the lyrics. It all started with the organ.”

“Sometimes you know an instrument too well,” Croll explained. “It becomes a part of you and then you start not really experimenting. Whereas if you don’t know that instrument, you have to get to know it. I felt like a kid again, banging around in my parents house.”



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