New Music: Daniel James – The Bridge

Originally from Northern Ireland but now residing in London, Daniel James is sending ripples through the music industry with his folksy brand of soulful pop. The singer-songwriter’s pen was not put to paper until the death of his grandmother. The original stimulus is, perhaps, in part responsible for the strong vein of sincerity that runs through the artist’s work. David Bowie, a staple of musical inspiration, is cited as an influence by the artist along with Van Morrison and Motown in providing a creative springboard.

Daniel James’ debut single The Bridge, released on 21st April through Grey Sky Records, is a vocally empowered piece. The impassioned medley of voice and guitar compose the lyrics’ soft sentiment, luring you into a state of placidity before propelling you with sudden crescendos. The monochrome music video reflects the simple genius of this duality: James, guitar in hand, stands alone in a bare minimalist set; his music left unadulterated by the qualms of the superficial. Indeed, the inspiration for the song is a very real source – a gritty 1984 documentary about the street kids in Seattle dealing with sex and drugs. The song’s pendulum rhythm, shifting between calm and calamity, evokes the tumultuous lives of these young characters. Their only solace being ‘The Bridge’; a place of escapism, allowing them a brief encounter with true innocence away from the seedy, grown-up world they have been plunged into. James’ furrowed brow is a recurring image in the track’s music video; a reaffirmation of the anguish the song speaks of. Lyrical dissection aside, the jolting melody provides an unmistakeable uplifting vibe. Rapidity characterises the song with sporadic renewals of acoustic enthusiasm.

The artist has recently toured with Sam Smith and will be performing dates with Saint Raymond this month along with festival appearances in May. Full tour dates are as follows:

March:
Sun 30th Southampton The Joiners (with Saint Raymond)
Mon 31st Norwich Arts Centre (with Saint Raymond)

May:
Sat 3rd Leeds Live At Leeds at The Faversham
Sun 4th Canterbury City Sound Project Festival

June:
Tues 3rd London Tabernacle (with Hozier)
Wed 4th London Tabernacle (with Hozier)
Fri 6th Birmingham O2 Academy 3 (with Hozier)
Sat 7th Manchester Deaf Institute (with Hozier)
Mon 9th Glasgow King Tut’s (with Hozier)