Local Wire

Danielson

It took Daniel Smith, the man behind Danielson, a sudden realization while attending Rutgers University to help him embrace his childhood and live as a child once more. The revelation eventually led him to form Danielson, an indie rock/gospel supergroup whose stage shows feature matching outfits (nurses, gospel choirs) with Smith sometimes donning a 9-foot fruit tree costume. The band's music hinges on Smith's offbeat lyrics — often inspired by the Bible — and trademark falsetto singing style. The band has recorded with the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Deerhoof, and Serena Maneesh, artists known for their eclectic, often odd musical concepts. Danielson's quirk is not without controversy, since their songs are heavy on the Christian side of indie rock, but their reception and subsequent success indicate that fans don't feel the need to get caught up in religious politics. However, those who crave indie rock that features oboe and a smattering of the Old Testament sung by a dude dressed as a tree can finally seek refuge knowing a band like Danielson has all three requirements down pat.
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Michael Lopez