Sometimes it’s not necessary to feel the pressure of creating something new and just concentrate at what you do best. Led by singer/songwriter Dan McCurry, South Carolina’s Run Dan Run are a case in point. Their second album, ‘Normal’, is simply a rather fine exercise in old-fashioned indie rock songcraft.
Summery gutars, sad-hearted vocals from McCurry and even a brass section contribute to ‘Lovesick Animal’. Few pop songs have as much emotional ache as this but then few bands possess a frontman quite so capable of communicating quiet despair as McCurry. ‘False-Hearted Lover’ is slower-paced but hits its mark with a full-bodied arrangement and this song moves to the languid verse/vibrant chorus set-up of ‘Cut-Outs’. Further standouts are ‘Anonymous Girl’ where the band add a wired intensity to their sound, whereas ‘Fresh Faces’ approaches the crazed tunefulness of Broken Social Scene.
Run Dan Run are reminiscent of both The Postal Service and – even more so – German act The Notwist. They share with these bands a knack for literate songwriting, heart-aching vocals and ambitious arrangements. The key is that, despite the dark lyrical matter, Run Dan Run redress the balance with an abundance of sweet melody.
The Postal Service, The Notwist