Recently at the Bundeena Festival I was pleasantly surprised by Dani and her band a unique style of music which takes you on a journey of imagination. So I approached Dani and am pleased permission was given to place information on my website. Please explore Dani’s website Web Link below is information about 2 Albums on offer via her web.
Sword, Crown and Creed is an album that bristles with passion and soul. It marks the recording debut of someone who clearly loves music and loves life. Then again, when you’ve been thinking about and working towards something for years, the result should be something very special. Sword, Crown and Creed is Dani Karis’ first album – but it’s been a long time coming. The Sydney-based singer-songwriter has been writing and performing since 1991, when she wrote her first song: “It really came as a surprise to me,” she recalls. “It simply came flooding out one day when I was trying to play something else on the guitar.”
It was the beginning of a passion that has sustained her. “Songwriting became the perfect creative outlet for me. It was cathartic, self-realising, sincere and let me get away with saying things that I otherwise wouldn’t have dared.”
So why have we had to wait so long to hear her unique voice? Well, she’s been busy doing other things, like traveling the world, but mostly she was always adamant that songwriting was a private joy that would be ruined if she ever got too serious about it.
“Traveling alone in The Andes in 1992 I bought a guitar, and that affected my whole trip. Nothing opens doors in South America like a girl with a guitar!” laughs Dani. Actually, fame almost found her back then: “There’s a long story about recording in New York City – I (had a phone call) with Madonna’s producer, who was super-sweet and encouraging, and I worked with a guy who had done a few Carly Simon albums. He got very excited about that 24 year old, backpacking, songwriting version of me and called in some big guns from the recording industry. This freaked me out completely and I jumped on a plane to Amsterdam. ( I do regret this lack of courage.)”
Several years later, Dani found herself living in the artistic hub of Bundeena, where for the first time she began playing with other musos and quickly developed a strong local following. Her desire to write and perform music was becoming more insistent and people were asking where they could buy her CDs. “Sword, Crown and Creed just seemed something I had to do,” says Dani. “I have written so many songs and I was starting to question the point of doing it at all, if I wasn’t going to give them any chance to be heard. I simply woke up one morning and decided I wanted a proper, professionally-produced album.”
Producer Stuart Stuart at Chartsong in Brisbane was to prove the perfect collaborator for Dani. She describes the making of Sword, Crown and Creed as a crash-course in song-craft. Living at the studio for 3 weeks, she did nothing but concentrate on the album. “I cannot remember if I have ever given anything in my life that degree of focus before,” she admits.
Dani had sent Stuart a massive 34 tracks. By the time she got to the studio he had shortlisted these down to18 very diverse songs. 10 of these would make it onto the final album. And what a collection they are: meaningful, resonant, traversing genres, distinctly Dani. There’s the defiant, anthemic Simple Sum, the dark and earthy Before the Bells, the searingly honest TGTC (“ That world was too dark for you – and you never would have found me in the gloom.) the tragic tale of a boys’ night out gone wrong in Shots. Sword, Crown and Creed is a captivating journey between folk and soul, occasionally displaying a hint of rock and not a little of the balladeer.
And then there’s that voice: “There was one huge decision to make which I hadn’t managed even after the first day in the studio,” says Dani. “And that was whether to give this album the sound of me playing an acoustic gig on my own, or to go big and give the tracks all the layers of meaning that were there in the writing. I texted a friend who replied, ‘Go with your heart. GO BIG!!’ The next day I told Stuart and he was very pleased with the choice. Many times during the recording he’d rock back in his chair and say, ‘I’m so glad you said we could go big on this!!’
This is a performer who sings from the very core of herself. You can hear it in her jubilant choruses, in her haunting melodies. These are songs that could only have come from someone for whom music is the logical way to express their experience of the world.
So what does Dani Karis want people to take from the album? “I want them to hear something they haven’t heard before, she says. “ I hope they’ll listen to the lyrics. I hope they’ll play it loudly in their cars and get caught singing ‘Ayayay!’ at the traffic lights and not care. I want them to argue about the meaning of Sword,Crown and Creed, wonder whether Shots is a true story, relate to My Fire and know someone that Daddy Said could be about.
I hope that some of the joy I had in creating this will affect the listener – that they’ll know I put my heart into each one of these songs and that I’m proud of them.
I really hope they’ll want to know what song number 11 would have been.” Web Link
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