Last Wednesday, Dan Croll announced the release of his third album Grand Plan, out August 21st through Communion Records and produced by Matthew E. White at Spacebomb. The album features his latest double-a-side singles – album title track ‘Grand Plan’ and ‘Work’ – which are out now.
Today the video for ‘Grand Plan’, shot by visual collaborators The Wild Honey Pie, is released…
“It felt only right to have this video filmed sat at my desk, it’s where I spend every day working away and where the majority of these albums songs were written.” Explains Croll. “When I first moved to LA I was living in a tiny little box room in Koreatown, I’d wake up and sit at the bottom of my bed at my desk and try my best to create something. I found it incredibly tough in those first few months though. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with the pace of LA or the talent of others around me. Everyone I met felt was so driven and had this grand idea for what they wanted to do with life, and I was working in what felt like a dark coffin trying to figure out what the hell I was doing.”
The album, Grand Plan chronicles the 12-month period starting in February 2018 when Croll decided to up sticks and move to Los Angeles after the realisation that he might be becoming restless in Liverpool. Over the ensuing 12 months Dan turned his experiences into 20-odd songs, eventually whittling them down to a solid dozen chapters. Then, in spring 2019, he spent a month with the estimable Matthew E. White in Virginia bringing to life the songs in the inimitable Spacebomb country-psych-soul style. Each song tells a story, in narrative order.
The latest tranche to be released is the album title track ‘Grand Plan’ – a song about the overwhelment created by moving to a new city, thousands of miles from home, where everyone seems to have a master plan and you feel like you’re barely treading water. Featuring lush harmonies and delicately picked guitar. As the chorus goes, “everyone’s got a grand plan, but I’ve barely come prepared.”
The flip side to ‘Grand Plan’ is ‘Work’ – an elegantly minimal song about the very opposite to its title. An observation of the dawn of a new relationship and wanting to escape into that world and away from the daily grind of work.
Listen to ‘Work’, below…
“I wrote ‘Grand Plan’ a couple of months into my move to California, things had got off to a tough start with having to start life from scratch again. On one hand it’s incredibly exciting to live in such a creative city and be surrounded by very talented people, but on the other hand (and in my case) it can also be quite overwhelming and make you feel like you’re lagging behind everyone else.” Explains Croll. “Grand plan was about that feeling, being on the back foot, feeling like everyone but yourself had this grand idea and plan for life and you’re still figuring out the basics.”
Of ‘Work’ he says, “‘Work’ is just a simple and I guess romantic song about being in those early stages of a relationship. Wanting nothing more than to just spend time with that person and forget about all of the real world/adult responsibilities out there.”
Croll introduced us to the first chapter of the album at the start of 2020 with the release of double a-side singles ‘Yesterday’ (an ode to opportunities missed whilst being mentored by national treasure Paul McCartney) and ‘Stay In L.A.’ both recounting the beginning stages of a seismic shift in his life and the decision to relocate halfway round the world. After the release of his second album ‘Emerging Adulthood’, Croll, like many in the latter half of their twenties, questioned the very fibre of his being; career; relationships; life choices; future; so he upped sticks and moved to L.A. and hasn’t returned. The resulting transition to life in California, going back to basics with his songwriting and taking inspiration from the music that truly inspired him (James Taylor, Burt Bacharach, Joni Mitchell), many of which are part of Laurel Canyon’s musical heritage, bore the musical fruits which formed his new record and a new era for this prolific songwriter.
Over the course of 2020 Dan Croll will be releasing new material in couplets like this culminating in the release of his new album Grand Plan, which chronologically documents the results of the life-changing decision to move from Liverpool to L.A. From the impetus to go, the reason he stayed, to the people he met and the universal challenges he had to deal with along the way.
Speaking about the experience and his return to the music scene Dan explains, “The past two years have been a rollercoaster, starting from scratch, alone in a different country, but I’m so happy to have come out the other end with this collection of songs. Feels great not only to be back on the music scene, but to be doing it with songs that I finally feel represent the influences and music I truly love.”
Over the course of recent weeks owing to the worldwide lockdown Dan Croll has reignited the ‘Dial Dan’ hotline – for those needing a mental escape during quarantine. He’s accepting calls / texts / WhatsApp audio and messages from all over the globe every Monday. Already it’s seen some wonderful interactions with fans around the world. Why not get involved and Dial Dan on +1-323-304-1701
In response to the global pandemic Dan Croll has rescheduled his live dates to September 2020. He also recently took part in Mahogany isolation sessions on their Instagram and will be teaming up with them in the near future for more online live activities.
8 Sept – London – Oslo, Hackney
9 Sept – Paris – Hasard Ludique
10 Sept – Amsterdam – Cinetol
11 Sept – Berlin – Curfew Bar
16 Sept – New York City – Rockwood 2
18 Sept – Los Angeles – Gold Diggers