Cambridgeshire raised singer/songwriter Dropout Dan released his five track EP ‘Forever Instead’ on the 14th of February through Anchor Music. An EP that consists of sincere and meaningful lyrical content, therefore this is a fitting date for release! Dropout Dan has created a release that truly means something to him. Because of this, individuals can appreciate the whole concept of this EP rather than just lyrics that you can put your own life story to.
The EP begins with ‘Oh, Little Red’; just a simple layered ‘oh’ melody over an acoustic guitar strumming a couple of chords manages to grab your attention. It’s easy to add reverb to any track as it has a tendency to immediately make something sound better, because of this it can be overly used. With this song however, the reverb is clearly there but it adds a great coating to the vocals, aiding to the slightly eerie feel of the track. The ‘oh’s’ feature throughout and give the song that hook that it needs. The lyrics tell a story and there’s no doubt they’re about love but they don’t have that ‘cheese’ factor. There’s a subtle underlining second vocal melody and high-end guitar part that both uplift the choruses, these are reasons as to why the choruses are seen as being beautifully written.
‘Puppy Fat’ is the second track on the EP and a pop punk style is introduced, reminding me of artists such as You Me at Six and Fall Out Boy, just taken down a few notches. This track is slightly fuelled with attitude; the harmonies have the same edge as the main vocal melody so they blend well together. Dropout Dan has once again used layered ‘oh’s’ that sit behind the guitar and the lead vocals. ‘Puppy Fat’ is slightly repetitive throughout; the vocals could vary more between the verses and choruses so that the transition between the sections are more obvious, this would make the song more interesting.
‘The Sound of Faking’ has a beautiful introduction with a lead line from the piano; this features every now and again. Judging by this, Dropout Dan knows where a hook needs to be! The song features attractive harmonies and call and responses from the vocals that steer the song forward.
‘Sentimental’ follows the soft theme along with call and responses however; it’s not the best track on the EP. I found there’s too much edge from the vocals, as there are strings and other layers that appear in this track, these anticipate a softer melody line. There’s a refreshing middle section in this song that occurs near the end though, this possibly could have gone on for longer. Overall, I have to say it felt like a filler on the EP.
‘Like The Stars’ ends the EP, the guitar and vocals both drive the track forward and the harmonies are once again a great touch. Again though, this track isn’t particularly fascinating. It features good build-ups and subtle layers but there’s nothing really that stands out, it’s good, but it could be better.
The production on this EP is notable, the acoustic guitar has a great bright tone throughout and each song flows well into one another. ‘Oh, Little Red’ and ‘The Sound Of Faking’ are the tracks that stand out on this EP, they’re finely crafted and have the ability to appeal to a wide market. With acoustic tracks it’s harder to keep your audience engaged, you haven’t got a numerous amount of instrumentation to work with. Dropout Dan has succeeded in keeping this release short but sweet, with definite gems that may end up on your ‘most played’ list.