Up to now, Dan O’Dell (AKA Heartwork) had nicely slotted into the over-saturated crowds of singer-songwriter, releasing 2 well received EP’s & playing countless shows across the country. However, things have changed with the release of his crowd funded debut album ‘Things I Wish I Said’; an album that sees Dan embrace a fuller band sound akin to emo legends, American Football.
The album kicks off with ‘Every Thorn’ and over some softly strummed chords & the line ‘the shit had hit the fan, turns out I’m half the man I thought…’ you get the sense that this may not be the most lighthearted of listens. It’s not all doom & gloom though, ‘Paper & Bones’ sees Dan showcase just how beneficial a more dynamic sound can be. Whilst hinted at in previous releases, it’s quickly apparent that Heartwork was meant to be so much more than just an acoustic & his voice. With the addition of electric guitars, bass, & drums, Dan’s excellent vocals become something a lot more memorable, and the album sees him hit the potential he teased at in previous releases.
That’s not to say that his emotional, almost-too-honest lyrics have taken a backseat for Dan’s heavier sound; lyrics still play centre stage across the album, particularly in those songs that Dan has become accustomed to playing live, such as ‘Dashboard Confrontational’ & ‘Achilles Friend’ . The guest appearance by label mate & all round good guy, Ben Sydes on album highlight ‘The Right Thing’ is a welcome addition to the record & only adds to the album’s diversity.
Dan has created a cohesive, mature record that will undoubtedly prove to be one of 2017’s hidden treasures. Watch this space, on the strength of this album, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Heartwork in the future.