Talented Glasgow-based multi-instrumentalist Dan Brown is set to release his adventurous second album Nomad on Friday 10th November, featuring a star-studded array of guest musicians.
Exploring the mental health benefits of time spent outdoors, and inspired by Dan’s own adventures, the album features twelve self-composed tracks built on Dan’s layered instrumentation of tenor guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, piano and keyboards, accordion, synths, clarinet and flute.
Each track has a unique sound, taking the listener on a nomadic journey from place to place as the album progresses, blurring the lines between genres and forging an eclectic mix of indie folk, traditional Celtic music, ambient electronica and jazz to create a warm, distinctive sound with complex layers and strong, catchy melodies.
It also boasts guest features from a who’s who of the Glasgow traditional music scene: Juliette Lemoine on cello, Laura Wilkie (Kinnaris Quintet) on fiddle, Callum Convoy (The Canny Band) on bodhran, Stephen Henderson on drums, Joshua Elcock on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tiernan Courell on whistle, Gus Stirrat on electric bass, and Norman Willmore (Peatbog Faeries) on alto saxophone.
Nomad is Dan’s second album, following on from his 2021 debut Rewilding, and is a natural continuation which demonstrates his growth as a musician and producer in that time, with more complex production and a range of sounds which he sees as a cohesive representation of his personality as an artist.
A true DIY project, Nomad combines Dan’s varied musical influences. Having originally moved to Glasgow to study jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, he was heavily inspired by artists such as Aaron Parks, Brad Mehldau and Ben Wendel at that time.
The work of Mike Vass has also been an important influence, especially in his approach to producing as a multi-instrumentalist, and this, combined with growing up listening to his dad’s trad record collection, and his love of indie-folk artists including Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Ethan Gruska and Adrienne Lenker and ambient electronica artists like Blank for.ms, Amulets and Tennyson, all come together to shape Dan’s unique and varied sound.
Since recording Nomad, Dan has taken the leap to living in a van full-time, a move to which he attributes an improvement in his mental health, and a decision which was fuelled by the themes explored in the making of the album.
Dan Brown said: “Over the past couple of years, I’ve been grappling with my mental health. My relationship with Glasgow, a place I’d called home for eight years, was evolving. I was struggling to balance my identity as a musician, reliant on the work that the culturally thriving city offered, with my craving to explore the vast outdoor spaces of Scotland. The creation of the album became both my escape from these feelings as well as a heavily cathartic process, providing me with a medium to help voice them.
“The more I create, the more I realise that my inspiration is fed both directly and indirectly from my time in the mountains. During the writing process, I often found myself struggling for ideas when sitting at my piano in Glasgow, only for an idea to present itself as I sat on a train, travelling back to the city after a great weekend of climbing in the Highlands. The title track on the album was written in this exact manner.”
The majority of the album was recorded at Dan’s home studio, with the drums recorded by Gus Stirrat at Solas Sound, alto saxophone recorded remotely by Norman Willmore from his home, and upright piano recorded by Dan at GloWorm Recording Studio in Glasgow.
Nomad will be available on CD and to stream and download on all major digital platforms from Friday 10th November 2023.
Artist’s website: danbrown-music.com.
‘Dreaming Of Wild Horses’ – live: