A thoroughly underrated artist, Danny Smith left his native shores to journey to Australia in search of something more. Armed with his guitar and a handful of rough-cut songs, Danny has been making music and pushing his sound ever since, arriving on our doorstep with a deft single that perfectly illustrates his sound.
Originally written two years ago while still living in Wellington, New Zealand, ‘Mr Bus Driver’ was inspired by feelings of dissatisfaction, a time when he was fed up with working hard and struggling for someone else’s fight and not following his own dreams. Recently re-recorded in an Air BNB in Melany, Queensland over the course of three days, ‘Mr Bus Driver’ is proof that it's not the quality of the production that makes a song, it’s the quality of the songwriting.
Setting the scene with an unfolding stream of acoustic guitar, Danny balanced light and dark tones, pushing the heavier bass sounds and then adding levity through a series of intermittent whistles, creating a rustic, but engaging sound. It’s a sound akin to stripped back shoegaze, stitching together lingering percussion and slow-burning guitar with more washed out vocals that charm and beguile in equal measure. Harmonies turn and twist, and the song rolls on with a slumbering melody that holds your focus in prime form, setting a wonderful stage for those light, flittering whistle and Danny’s smooth vocals.
The breakdown where Danny calls to be taken away from his misery is utterly engaging thanks to his vocals, dropping the more distant sounds for a rough, human touch, and the when the instrumentals fade to leave only that lingering whistle, you can’t help but feel your heart cry out.
Born from a dark space, ‘Mr Bus Driver’ is a wonderfully cultivated song that speaks of a bright future and better times ahead. The production is rough, but that lends a more authentic and textured sound that really makes the song stand apart from the maelstrom of glossy, soulless pieces that populate the charts today. A song to remember and an artist to watch, Danny Smith has proved his worth abundantly.
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