A quick internet search on DAUNT will take you to “This Body Rushes”, Will Daunt’s first ever track to come out of a long-term project and one of the most accomplished debuts on SoundCloud, with over 400k plays racked in just a few days. The London-born singer songwriter is heavily influenced by swung hip-hop beats, classic pop and 70s funk grooves, in a perfect combination of bold, bittersweet melodies and warm vocals.
His new track “Drive”, taken from his forthcoming debut EP “Unbearable Light”, expertly brings all these influences together, with supple vocals hovering over haunting piano melodies and a minimalistic beat. Glass Animals, Alt-J or Beck fans, you’re in for a treat.
We talk to London’s newest slow-pop artist about what’s in store for 2017.
How did you start making music?
My (quite a lot older) brother is a musician, so I grew up around instruments and music. It took me a while to become properly interested, but when I first picked up a guitar aged 14 or so I remember this sudden sense of exploration, as if I was at the beginning of a journey to an unknown destination. Then like a lot of teenagers I began to make dreadful music, both as an escape and a way of working out who I was.
Who are your musical influences?
I think my first true musical love was Nick Drake. Not that my music sounds like his – nobody aside from him can play guitar like that – but there was a simplicity in the arrangements mixed with an obscure ethereal beauty that just struck me. I must have listened to Pink Moon two or three times a day as a teenager. This was pretty closely followed by a huge hip hop obsession. Strangely, I then spent years in indie bands not really drawing on those two influences, but when a long term project fell apart I took some time away from music, and the music I first loved crept back in to that space.
You’ve been compared to acts like Glass Animals, Alt-J and Beck. How would you describe your sound?
An impossible question, but I’ll have a stab: swung, melancholic slow-pop.
What can you tell us about your creative process?
It varies. Some songs are written to a visual image, others come from messing around with chords. I have two golden rules: write the song before diving into production, and if you find yourself slaving over a song, stop. It’s usually because the song is rubbish.