Album Review: "Stay Awake With Me" by Dan Owen

Hey guys!

One of the questions I get asked the most when people find out what my little part in the music industry is, is "So what kind of music do you write about?"

Over the years my answer has progressed from "Oh, a lot! Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, actually the variety is pretty big." to "Music that feels passionate and refreshing."

To be fair, both answers are fairly vague - but come on, what else am I going to say?
HITS is a home for all the music the team loves, so there really isn't an answer that lets people know what to expect.

But I like it that way.

And I hope that I can always surprise you with the music I decide to share with you.

I'm not sure if you'll be surprised today, but you'll love the music - that's for sure.

So let's do this!

Artist: Dan Owen
Title: Stay Awake With Me
Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Blues
Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: 17th August 2018

Dan Owen is a singer/songwriter from Shrewsbury, UK.

He is one of those artists who effortlessly blow you away. He mixes Acoustic with some of the finest Blues and Rock elements in the most intense, yet thoughtful way.

Dan has been performing in public ever since he was 13 years, accompanying his sister on the guitar.
At the age of 17, he discovered his love (and talent!) for singing and soon started to gig his way through the UK.
Dan Owen has mastered the craft of playing everywhere which led to him playing 150-200 gigs a year.

His talent didn't go unnoticed after one of his performances went viral on the internet- Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood himself invited Dan for dinner to chat to him about music and offer him advice.

In October 2016, Dan released his EP "Open Hands and Enemies" and has been touring intensely, also supporting Birdy on tour. (We managed to catch one of the shows, you can check out photos here.)

"Made To Love You", the first single off of "Stay Awake With Me" has amassed over 13 million streams on Spotify alone, giving away just how greatly appreciated Dan's talent is.
All of the following singles got radio support from Radio 1, Radio 2 and Virgin Radio.

And now it's time for us to jump right into the review.

So, let's check out Dan's debut album!

1) What Is A Man
2) Icarus
3) Made To Love You
4) Fall Like A Feather
5) Hideaway
6) Hand That You Hold
7) Parachute
8) Stay Awake With Me
9) Call My Name
10) Splinter

Opener "What Is A Man" greets you in the friendliest and warmest way possible; brass instruments happily chirp their melodies into your ears and allow you to dive into the album headfirst. Dan's powerful and smokey voice soon joins the occasion and takes the lead.
Whilst duetting with the choir-esque backing vocals in the chorus, you can clearly hear the strength and urgency in Dan's voice.
With "What Is A Man" building up towards the last chorus and shining in the lights of a clever arrangement and a catchy melody, us listeners get a good idea of what is yet to come.

Once we've had our first encounter with the opener track, "Icarus" is here to ease us into the depths of the album, giving us time to adjust to the serious side of Dan's songs. With vocals this big and gripping, it's hard not to focus on the vocals and only the vocals on every track.
But, although his voice is one you'll remember, it would be a mistake to ignore the well arranged and produced instrumentals.
The variety of elements, textures and dynamics plays a huge part in making the album what it is, as well as showing what kind of songwriter you have come across - a detailed oriented and passionate one.

The half-time point, "Hideaway", is definitely one of the highlights on Dan's debut.
It's raw, it's huge, it's going to send shivers down your spine.
The smokey and heavy atmosphere soaks you in right from the very first note you hear.
In fact, there is no way to listen to this track without the song fully grabbing your attention and holding onto it for the entire song.
Dan's way of expressing emotions through vocals is on another level, making it obvious that he can make you feel the same emotions he's experienced - whether you are in the same state of mind or not.

To sum it up: "Stay Awake With Me" is the kind of album that makes you double check to see if it actually is a debut album.
Dan seems to have already found his sound, yet he doesn't shy away from trying out new elements and it works in his favour. Each song is carefully crafted and plays exactly the part it is supposed to. So ladies and gentlemen, grab your headphones and join Dan Owen's journey.

You should listen to these tracks: Icarus, Made To Love You, Hideaway, Call My Name

- buy and/or stream "Stay Awake With Me" here -

Dan Owen online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Dan Owen via Wilful Publicity


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