His demos sound like other songwriters’ finished products, but Blake Daniels is truly just getting started. After bouncing around this side of the Rocky Mountains for a few years, the 28-year-old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from St. Petersburg is ready to share more of himself with listeners.
“For the past decade or so I’ve been writing and recording music mostly in private, but have played in various projects in St. Petersburg, Nashville, and Chicago over that time,” Daniels told CL. “Since moving back to my hometown of St. Pete, I decided to start releasing music under my own name and distributing it more publicly.”
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Daniels’ five-song demo tape was recorded in his living room during the first few weeks of 2018 and released on February 24. It clocks in at just about 15 minutes long, but the collection of songs showcases a versatility that makes us wonder why Daniels hasn’t popped up on more shows this year. “Come Back To Me” is built on bare-bones, beautiful guitar and synthesized bells ringing off in the distance, all working to propel a sad song about growing old alone. “I’ll Fly Away” deploys 12-string guitar and a sunny melody to create simple folk for fans of Dawes, and “Four Roses” enlists what sounds like a 12-bar blues to create the release’s rock-and-roll heart. Nearly all of the demo tape’s songs find Daniels subtly stacking his vocals, but his voice sounds especially lush on the power-pop-leaning “It Doesn’t Matter What You Wear” and '60s folk homage “Be All Mine.”
“It’s the first release from this solo project and a collection of songs I’ve written over the past few years,” he said. “I wanted to make a small collection of music to debut the sound and style I’m going for, and to gain some exposure and interest in the project as we go forward towards bigger plans.”
Those plans include studio time devoted to recording a 12-track full-length that Daniel hopes to have available by November and as many solo or band shows as he can handle.
“I’ll be performing around the area with my band as much as we can before [the album comes out],” Daniels said. “My only hope for the future is to continue making music and hopefully affect those who listen to it.”
Next show: Sun. July 22, 2 p.m. Free. Mermaid Tavern, 6719 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. blakedaniels.bandcamp.com.