If you’re a guitar band in Liverpool, occasionally getting lost in the crowd is an occupational hazard. Thankfully for DANYE, they’ve a knack of getting their heads above the rest, which comes from their marriage of a decidedly retro feel with shimmering, futuro guitar-pop nous. The quartet – Dan West on words and fibres, Jordan Swales on cathedral sounds, Rhys Davies on resonance and Dan Martindale on pots and pans – barely knew each other before they met for their first practice together, but the Danye vibe has brought them close together like only best mates can be. They also have an, err, interesting take on their own sound, describing it as “like waking from a wet dream feeling good, but very confused.”
Danye’s most recent song, Recently (funnily enough), is a relentlessly-paced, space-pop weird one that comes across like Wild Nothing covering The Pale Fountains. It’s a combination that shouldn’t work, but there’s a lo-fi dexterity to it that is charming, and has masses of radio potential. “We’re still trying to get our heads around it ourselves,” the band say about the track, almost as if it just came to them in a dream. “Our songs all tend to be very different, as we all have similar yet differing tastes. So, they probably show that we’re all confused as to what’s actually going on a lot of the time, which, you know, could be a good or a bad thing.”
They’re reticent to list a number of artists who they’ve aspired to emulate (“apart from Will Smith, Björk and Def Leppard”), insisting instead that they’re all pretty open-minded to each others’ ideas – and, by extension, their influences. “Probably our biggest common influence would be artists who self-record and produce – they’re a huge inspiration to our generation of musicians, by showing that you don’t need a studio and loads of money to make good music. People are discovering that their favourite artists produced records in a tiny room in Slough or something, not some fancy studio, and it’s refreshing as it reminds us that, while music is increasingly exclusive, you can still do it yourself.”
Far from being tarred with the ‘slacker’ brush, Danye have been making good on their word by self-recording their first EP. The four-piece are about to release another single and video, for new tune Happy One – “a straight-up, no-frills pop tune about trying to get a table in Sapporos…”
So, why is music important to Danye? “Apart from escaping our jobs and reality, it’d be connecting with others and just expressing ourselves,” they say. “It’s a wonderful thing when you’re all in the moment together sharing that experience of music, there’s nothing quite like it. In a wider, more clichéd sense, music is important as it brings people together, and facilitates expression between us all. I guess we don’t need to explain why that’s important, as the experiences music gives makes that quite self-explanatory.”
Danye play Threshold Festival on 1st April, on the Merseyrail Sound Station stage.