Chicago, IL, is the new home to the sound of the summer. Dan Rico, the ultimate genre-blender, has recently released a stream of feel-good Pop Rock 'n' Roll tracks which supply plenty of swagger for your step. His record label in the US, Maximum Pelt, describe him as "what it would sound like if Prince produced a T Rex record". We disagree, Rico is the multiple-choice man of music. Here's our idea of Rico's summer sounds and the new EP Nobody Knows with the Third Meets Rico interview following...
We challenged Dan Rico to a good old-fashioned multiple-choice questioning, on accounts of his music being so "multiple-choice". Rico has a sound for everyone, he's accessible. He's Summer, but also solemn. He's Rock 'n' Roll, but he's also easy to listen to. We could continue talking in oxymoron, but in this case Dan Rico just needs a listen.
Nobody Knows is the ultimate nod record towards old-school Rock 'n' Roll favourites. But again, ignore the cover notes. There's no Bowie in there, little New York Dolls. And that's just fine! For us, this is more like an homage to Lou Reed, mixed with a rockabilly heart. There's just so much bounce in this short EP from beginning to end. So what...
Love In Vain will go down as the record's pinnacle. It's catchy, and more importantly, you can dance to it. Yes! A real dance-hall swinger, the electric guitar interludes put a bit of shout back into the twist movement. It sets the precedent. The title track follows suit with an incredibly catchy bass performance, though here we are breaking into the Indie territory which we don't think Rico is. Sounds like The Kooks, for example, which we elude to in the interview...
Seeing us home is Rock-a-bye. Our second favourite on the EP. Rico really stands out as a guitarist here. His songwriting skills are clearly there to see, but here the true Rock 'n' Roller is portrayed. And again, that guitar, man! Rico ends the record with a more downbeat anthem Roxy Goddamn, which once again portrays his versatility. It's a quick flick, but a good listen.
In addition to the Nobody Knows EP, however, Rico has also been prominent with the single releases. Video plays a big part in his releases, and non have stood out more in recent time than Dangerous. In a world where so much seems to be repeated, in terms of music anyway, Rico releases his own sound here. The most important thing is that it's fun. That comes across in abundance. There's also no doubt about who he is, forget the homage to Rockers from the past, this is Dan Rico present and his style is contagious. The sound of summer is Dan Rico, so make sure you check out the video below followed by when Third met Rico the interview...
Singer or guitarist? // What a tough question! I'd have to go with singer. Though both can be equally expressive I think singers tend to make a more direct connection with audiences. Singers have existed through all of human history and when different people sing together its really a beautiful thing.
80's pop or 90's alternative? // I prefer 80's pop. I listened to a ton of 90's alternative growing up but now I find it more remote and I can't identify as hardily with its more downer-y themes. Not only is 80's pop fun, who doesn't just "wanna dance with somebody", it's a fascinating lense into the beginnings modern electronic-pop music that's so prevalent today. Producers and musicians were getting particularly creative with rhythm which I really appreciate, implementing more African and worldly patterns on 4-to the floor pop beats.
"If mediocrity still means I can eat and sleep well, and be with people I care about and write and record songs I'm pretty happy with that"
Cool music video or on stage hero? // Having an awesome music video is a great way to get yourself onto the Internet but aint nothin' like the real thing, a bumpin' live set!
The Black Lips, The Kooks or Vampire Weekend? // The Black Lips. I've never listened to the kooks or vampire weekend. But I've listened to Let it Bloom about 100 times.
In life success with no longevity or eternal fame with life-time mediocrity? // I would like my music to extend beyond my lifetime. I don't know about eternally. If mediocrity still means I can eat and sleep well, and be with people I care about and write and record songs I'm pretty happy with that.