Danan Healy
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Danan Healy

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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"Review of "You Need More Love""

In the world of Pop music, it is not uncommon to find artists who are classically trained. Many people learn classical instruments or chorale, whether through private instruction, schools or conservatories, and then apply that learning to their favorite non-classical genres.

There are also artists who crossover from Pop to Classical (such as Michael Bolton's ill-advised album of arias), and vice-versa (Sarah Brightman).

But I have encountered few artists who have crossed-over in quite the way that Danan Healy has. With a Bachelor's degree in Music for Voice from Southern Methodist University, and later a Master's degree from the Eastman School of Music (endowed by Kodak founder George Eastman, which explains the school's affiliation with the University of Rochester in NY), Ms Healy certainly has impressive academic credentials.

Her practical experience has ranged from operas to oratorios, and from international competitions to an impressive three-year stint with the U.S. Army Field Band's Soldier's Chorus. Her more contemporary work includes compositions for independent films, and a collaboration on a project called Aeolian May.

But eventually, as one can imagine, Ms Healy became eager to embark on a solo project, and in 2005 it finally came to fruition with the release of her EP You Need More Love. Surprisingly for anyone who has been reading up to this point, her chosen musical genre for the album was... Ska?!

More precisely, it's "Ska, Danan Healy-style", featuring intensely personal lyrics and themes that run the emotional gamut from bad breakups to wild sex. Either way, it's a bit of a left-turn from Mozart and Kurt Weill. Clearly, this was one artist who just wanted to cut footloose for a change; and the fact that she could attach dark lyrics to upbeat music allowed her to have the best of both worlds.

There are six songs on the EP, and they all feature high production values, particularly the brass arrangements on the tracks "You Need More Love", "Despise You", "Gold Star", and "Don't Waste My Time". The other two tracks, "The Only Way" and "Hotel Room" (the latter of which originally appeared on the Aeolian May album) are more downbeat, musically and thematically. "The Only Way" is a fairly gut-wrenching song that could be a Country ballad -- except it isn't twangy, and the emotions actually sound genuine. The song features this great line from the chorus: The only way that I get through a day / Is that I don't die.

"Gold Star" is another standout track, for it exhibits the kind of irreverent sexuality and humor that made Liz Phair infamous; and BOY does it make me wish I had a lyric sheet for this EP.

If there's one criticism that could be made regarding You Need More Love, it may be that Danan Healy's voice is too good for the style of music. Imagine, for example, that Linda Ronstadt were the vocalist for Save Ferris; would you get the same thing out of the music? Of course, Save Ferris' actual singer, Monique Powell, is one of the strongest vocalists working in Pop today, and that never took anything away from their music; so perhaps my theory is bunk after all.

As with every album, you will have to judge for yourself. I, for one, was more than happy to add two Danan Healy songs to the playlist, and I invite you to check out her album at the CDBaby link above.

There is one thing about Danan Healy that is indisputable: She is an intriguing artist with a unique combination of education, experience and approach, and one can only hope that she will continue to explore music that is personally meaningful.

-DJ Arythmius - Female Front


"More Reviews of "The Other Side""

“The Other Side is Danan Healy’s debut full-length album, released in early 2007. Featuring a wide scope of styles, The Other Side showcases Danan’s introspective songwriting backed by up-beat ska rhythms, rock guitars and emancipating ballads. Combining all of these ingredients along with previous experience performing with 23 Skadoo, obtaining a master’s degree in opera and having gone through Army Basic Training allows Danan’s creativity and musicianship to fully explode both onstage and in the studio.” Brian Ball, WomensRadio.com

“Danan Healy, as we are told, has a master’s degree in opera and has been through basic training in the U.S. Army. This seemingly conflicting background is well-exhibited in THE OTHER SIDE, Healy’s first full length CD release (and the follow-up to her debut EP, 2005’s YOU NEED MORE LOVE).
Healy brings a subtle sensuality to her work, one that smolders slowly rather than burns. It runs throughout the entirety of THE OTHER SIDE in its entirety, as Healy reveals the tough and tender sides of relationships. “Beautiful” is an enigmatic tribute, a simultaneous hello and goodbye to someone (friend? lover?) that lulls the listener, leaving them unprepared for the hard-hitting, no-nonsense “No Good” and “Despise You,” a couple of musical kiss-offs worthy of Alanis Morrisette. Emotions, and moods, see-saw throughout THE OTHER SIDE, from “Mother” to “Don’t Waste My Time” to “Gold Star,” even as Healy offers constant change-ups in tempo and arrangement to keep THE OTHER SIDE from falling into a predictability trap, keeping each track, each minute, new and interesting.
THE OTHER SIDE is an interesting CD which gives more with repeated listening. Just when it looked as if the era of the introspective singer/songwriter had run its course, Healy, with THE OTHER SIDE, provides us with reason to give pause.” Joe Hartlaub, Music-Reviewer.com

“I picked this up recently and was really surprised by the sound. It’s beautiful and exciting all at once, and that’s coming from a guy! I thought this would be typical “chick music,” but it’s surprisingly fun to listen to. Recommended.” Jeff, CDBaby.com

“Danan rocks the house! This is a rare combination of driving ska/rock/pop and a classically trained singer with talent, charm and presence all over the place. Plus, she shows she’s got a softer side too. She’s got something to say and an awesome way to say it. Huge congrats on the debut solo album! I love it! This is one artist to keep an eye on -- big things will be happening for sure. I also enjoy the natural/live/raw feel of the recording, like you’re at one of her gigs. The accompanying performers are also outstanding and should get huge kudos too! The album has strong songwriting throughout, plus some of the arrangements really stand out, like on No Good, Despise You and Gold Star. They contrast really well with the sensitive Love Again, Mother and The Only Way. The songwriting on Beautiful is particularly outstanding. Highly recommended, and should be added to your CD collection without hesitation!” JD, DCBaby.com
- Various


"Press for Aeolian May"

"The angelic yet earthy, hauntingly beautiful voice of Danan Healy...is at times reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan, with a twist of Suzanne Vega and Loreena McKennitt." - www.Rockband.com


"Press for Danan Healy"

"(Danan's) is a very strong, sure voice, reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde and Amy Lee (Evenescence) and capable of a full range of sound." -Steve Allat - The Muses Muse


"Press for Danan Healy"

"...and Danan from 23 Skadoo had the crowd in the palm of her hand." -Cru Jones - Emergenza Festival


"Press for Danan w/23 Skadoo"

"Pulling it all together is the undeniably erotic voice of one of the hottest female vocalists in the music industry. She not only charms a crowd, but backs every word with fists of fury."
- www.mdparty.com


"Review of "The Other Side""

I want to marry Danan Healy. Yeah, I’m a girl too and we can’t do that legally in most places but y’all! She’s got everything – solid songs, a killer voice and lots of variety. Dang – you want Sarah McLachlan wistfulness? You got it. Kicker guitar hooks and fist-in-the-air anthems that should be classic rock standards? It’s here. Edgy ska? Yep, got that too. Forget the seat belt. Pop the clutch, press the metal and hang on.

Let’s start with the song that should be in constant rotation on your MP3 player. “You Need More Love” features her sexy wailing vocals, chunky distorted guitar in the chorus and a killer horn section. Crank it to eleven. I dare you to only play it once. “I need more lovers” she implores. The line starts to the left, boys. And, um, girls.

“What I Want” has a more sinister message, about the girl whose mantra is gimme gimme gimme. It’s got more decibel crashing guitar and driving rhythms with a hooky chorus. Don’t annoy a songwriter folks, and in case you forget, listen to “Don’t Waste My Time.” The bass and guitar player in that one slip in a little funk, making it good booty shaking music. And “Gold Star?” Good god in a canoe, this woman is sexy and babe, it’s under her rules. Just do what she says, “Load on up your gun, I’ll cause un-relaxation.” If you piss her off, you get a song like “Despise You,” an ovaries-to-the-wall ska song about what an idiot you are.

Danan’s not all screech-around-the-corners rock and ska. There are some wonderful ballads here too. My favorite is “Love Again,” a cut that starts and ends with an emotional violin solo. Subtle guitar, bass and drums in ¾ time join in first, then her beautiful lyrics:

The daylight on the other side
The smallest smile across closed eyes
A new day and brand new start
I stretch and breathe it in to my heart ...

It’s another song you’ll want to play again and again but for different reasons.

Other ballads with thoughtful lyrics include “Beautiful” (with spot-on backing vocals by Laura Dause), “Mother” and “The Only Way.” Don’t be mislead by the pretty fingerpicked acoustic guitar in that last song – the lyrics are depressingly raw: “The only way I get through the day is that I don’t die.”

I could use more bandwidth here but just buy the freakin’ album and see for yourself. Don’t bother me, I’ll be in my car, her tunes blasting away as I drive around town with the windows down. Do you think she’d like the gold band or the diamond solitaire?
- Jamie Anderson, Indie-Music.com


Discography

*I am 2008 Gold Star Records Release
*Christmas Time Rocks 2007 Self Release
*Open Mike Cafe Presents...(What I Want)
*Wonder Woman Mix Tape by Acoustic Fuel.com (Love Again)
*The Other Side 2007 Self Release
*Indiegrrl 2006 P-Town Women's Week Give Away Compilation CD (The Only Way)
*You Need More Love (EP 2005)
*Port of Embarkation (under the name of Aeolian May)
*This Side of the Green Arrow by Daniel Rogers
*Original Music from the movie "Chillicothe" (Sundance Film Festival)
*Original Music from the movie "Breaking up with Maggie Moore" (Women's Entertainment Television, IFC)

Radio Play:

WCH St. Louis
General Electric SUNY Fredonia
�Nette Radio Dallas
Female Front Los Angeles
Acoustic Fuel Radio Detroit
Band Radio Live Folsom, CA
Rhapsody Online USA
MVY Radio Martha�s Vinyard
Radio Crystal Blue New York City
WHFR Dearborn/Detroit
Open Mike Caf� Wayne, MI
Rubyfruit Radio Atlanta

Photos

Bio

How many female rock musicians do you know who have a Master's Degree in Opera and have been through Army basic training?

Expect the unexpected with Danan Healy, a singer/songwriter based out of Brooklyn, New York: on one hand, she has a Master�s Degree from The Eastman School of Music in classical voice; on the other, she served five years in the Army singing with both the chorus and the Army�s punk rock band, the Volunteers. Danan started writing music while pursuing her graduate degree at Eastman. Upon the debut living room performance of her first tune, �Untitled Crappy Song,� one of her fellow singers cried, �You should be a country singer!� to which Danan responded, �No thanks, maybe I should stop writing songs.� Fortunately, that didn�t happen, and in the years since, she has focused on writing songs that balance catchy hooks with intense and personal lyrics.

Danan�s ability to bridge seemingly contradictory styles and themes imbues her music with a unique and demanding sound and personality. On her debut EP, �You Need More Love,� Danan artfully combines her background in classical music with her love for rock, punk, and ska -- drawing in part from her experience as the lead singer for the Baltimore ska band, 23 Skadoo. In early 2007, Danan released her debut full-length album, �The Other Side,� displaying a full spectrum of musical and emotional complexity in twelve tracks that range from driving rock to haunting ballad. She demands your attention with the irresistibly catchy �No Good�; she captivates you in the softly acoustic �Love Again� with a rhythm that builds on itself like a blossoming flower. And while many of the songs might seem upbeat and sassy at first -- don�t miss the quirky irreverence of �Despise You� and the overtly sexual �Gold Star� -- pay attention to the lyrics, which reveal the undercurrents of vulnerability and raw emotion that make Danan such a compelling performer.

Danan has toured the East Coast extensively to support both �You Need More Love� and �The Other Side,� and plans further touring in late 2007 to support her much-anticipated Christmas album, due in November. Her live act is not to be missed, offering a full band and horn line with some of the most creative and talented rock and jazz musicians from New York City and Baltimore. Recently, the Danan Healy Band opened for The Skatalites and King Django at the 3 Floors of Ska event at The Knitting Factory in New York City. Danan was also showcased by GoGirls Music at South by Southwest this year in Austin, performing at Austin Java.

Danan�s work has placed in a number of songwriting competitions. She was a Song Door 2006 International Songwriting Competition Finalist for �Don�t Waste My Time� and received an Honorable Mention for �You Need More Love.� She was also a finalist for Best Female Artist for �The Only Way� in the 2006 International Acoustic Music Awards. Additionally, Danan�s songs have been picked up by radio stations across the country: the title track from the EP, �You Need More Love,� is currently being played on WCH Radio in St. Louis; Nette Radio, out of Dallas, is spinning �The Only Way� and �Despise You,� also from the EP; Female Front, based out of Los Angeles, is playing �Despise You� and �Gold Star� from the EP; Acoustic Fuel Radio in Detroit has been spinning �Love Again,� from �The Other Side�; and Band Radio Live, out of Folsom, CA, is spinning �Beautiful� from �The Other Side.�

In addition to her solo work, Danan has collaborated with a number of exciting and contemporary artists. She provided lead vocals for the band Aeolian May on their debut album, �Port of Embarkation,� and sang on the album �The Wrong Side of the Green Arrow,� in collaboration with musician Daniel Rogers. Danan has also performed original music for the movie �Chillicothe,� which screened at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, and the movie �Breaking Up With Maggie Moore,� which has run on the Independent Film Channel and the Women�s Entertainment Television network.

Professional Affiliations:

GoGirlsElite
Indiegrrl
KISS (Kickass Independent Songwriters Showcase)
Songsalive!