It’s a late, dark night and there is a quantum of lost souls looking for answers, reminiscing about previously broken relationships. A wandering mind needs a source of stimulation for the self-doubting thoughts that haunt us all. Trouge brings you, Dan Bettridge (@DanBettridge). A voice that certainly won’t be forgotten.
Dan is a 24-year-old singer/songwriter from Ogmore-By-Sea in the Vale Of Glamorgan, Wales. His voice is raw, his lyrics are vulnerable, and his work is emotionally-charged. When you hear his music, you’d expect to see an olde musician from Nashville.
At the age of sixteen, young Dan has stared off his songwriting career, even though he admits the beginnings were not the greatest. Being told a memory when he was just a kid, Dan used to pull out the sofa bed in the spare room in his childhood home and pretend it was a stage and he was in a rock band. Not remembering this memory himself, Dan was always certain about his path: “I do know that it’s always just been on my cards. There’s never been a time where I haven’t been a musician, internally. Even before I was ever performing or writing songs, in my mind there were no questions that I would be on stage singing and play for people one day; it’s kind of weird”, he tells Trouge.
Despite his Catholic background, Dan is not religious, though very spiritual. His music carries an undeniable spirituality and ideology – “I have all these questions and ideas so at hand because I’ve been surrounded from the very beginning by the idea of something bigger,” he admits.
In the upcoming months, Dan will release his debut album Asking For Trouble. Interestingly enough, Dan is releasing his first EP in waves. Literally. Each wave consists of four songs. ‘Wave Two’ is some of his best work yet. The combination of these four songs is no coincidence. Dan presents them as ‘musical siblings’. ‘Some Things’ & ‘Blame’ touch upon Dan’s self-destructive nature as a partner and as a man. ‘i/i’ and ‘Metagirl’ also put out the same idea but on a global level as in “a seeming loss of identity as a race, the lack of respect for each other and devotion to ‘things’ and the resulting self destructiveness that that breeds. That ultimately we have ourselves, each other and the ground we walk on”, Dan elaborates.
‘Wave Three’ of his album is set to release sooner than you think. In comparison with ‘Wave Two,’ this group of four songs will act more as answers than questions. Dan explains in more detail: “The songs come to contemplative fruition. They’re ideas that I have bouncing around in my head all the time and feel like I’ve dealt with and understand now through the writing process of this album. There’s also some experimentation thematically and musically in this wave that I had so much fun playing around with”. Wave Three will be out on Spotify and Soundcloud to stream on 27th of April.
Speaking of ‘Wave Three,’ when Trouge asked Dan about a lyric that he is particularly proud of, he gave us a little sneak peek of an unreleased song ‘NYC Midnight Train.’ With this song, he was trying to create an image of what he saw, and it goes like this:
“Window show, high-rise romance.
While the dogs on the street hale a beauty for a one night stand. In the dark of the alley the hit man sees the light, he shot on the tracks one too many times.”
Dan highlights the juxtaposition and the double meanings in the above snippet of ‘NYC Midnight Train’ that gives him a tickle.
Not only is Dan releasing his first album ‘Asking For Trouble,’ but Bettridge also had the opportunity to perform with his music at this year’s SXSW. Dan called this multi-venue festival ‘the holy grail of this type of a festival.’ He shares that all the shows were well organised and well attended.
Inspire of SXSW’s popularity, Dan’s favorite shows were the two nights at Shepherds Bush Empire with Band of Horses. Dan tells Trouge:“It was and still is the biggest two shows I’ve ever played and man if I could play those on a regular basis I’d be the happiest guy on the planet.”
‘Asking For Trouble’ is coming out on the 6th of July and ready for you to pre-order on all platforms. Give Dan Bettridge a listen and a follow, you will not regret it.