New Music From Dan West (aka d’Animal)

Posted on Jun 5, 2024
New Music From Dan West (aka d’Animal)

Whether shredding his Fender Six, mastering knobs on the board, or conducting big band orchestras, Dan West has long been blazing bold trails on the musical landscape. The LA-based musician sings and plays piano, bass, guitar, drums, cello, upright bass, flute, and clarinet; he also composes for orchestra and big band and does music programming. Over his long career, West has recorded and performed with a diverse and esteemed group of rock and jazz musicians including El Vez, Sky Saxon of The Seeds, Bryan Maclean of Love, Rosemary Clooney, Maynard Ferguson, King Missile, The Jazz Butcher, and Paula Kelly. He’s made multiple solo albums as well, and since 2011 has been one-half of the psychedelic pop duo LoveyDove with his wife, DIY pioneer Azalia Snail. He’s toured the US, Europe, and Australasia, and recently produced notable LPs by Mystery Rose and Lexx And The RoadziesHedonistic Pillow is the second album West has released as his bemused alter-ego d’Animal (pronounced ‘danimal’), following 2017’s l’Ogic (Silber/Powertool).

Hedonistic Pillow reflects upon the state of individuals in a society stuck in an endless loop of ennui, vanity, and self-indulgence. Where it ends is anybody’s guess. In d’Animal’s world, however, beginnings and endings aren’t the point — it’s getting there in the first place. West told A Strange Brew that his music “has always been in limbo between then and now, old bottle/new wine… I have always loved the idea of repurposing the past. Taking the little bits of old and using them to advance a modern and personal story… I am also taking a more literal approach to a lot of stories and characterizations that are present on the record in so many ways, despite the psychedelic or surreal music.” Performed and recorded primarily by West himself, the album was mastered by Adam Lasus (Helium, Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Lilys, Beth Orton) and features percussion, guitar, and backing vocals from Azalia Snail.

“A flexible sound where Boyce & Hart bubblegum shimmer collides with shadowy-psych-garage menace, and his lyrics – whether delivering messages of loss, insecurity or ardent passion – draws the listener in, conjuring a relatable immediacy, which in turn extrapolates itself within the performer-audience equation to create a singularly intimate atmosphere… A master of the pop idiom, one who is able to link Bing Crosby to Sky Saxon and Brian Wilson.” – LA Times

“[D’animal makes] pop goodies which have the added benefit of being high in musical nutrition… a good example of the power of genuine musical originality to really shake things up.” – Bluefat

RIYL: 10cc, Apples In Stereo, The Shins, Imperial Teen, OK Go


Label: Wayside Records

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