When we first heard Daniel Hall’s latest album Elevate earlier this month, we knew we were onto something good. Hall creates captivating music that never shies away from personal or social issues.
So, we caught up with Hall for a complete track-by-track run-down of Elevate. Take it away Daniel…
We caught up with Sydney artist Daniel Hall for a complete run-down on the stories and themes that built his latest album Elevate.
You Elevate Me
The opening track is about depression and acknowledges and commends the work that foundations such as Black Dog, Lifeline and Beyond Blue do. I have had quite an emotional rollercoaster ride over the last few years however I am pretty tough and resilient. Others are not as fortunate and this song encourages those suffering in silence to seek help when they may not be able to help themselves. The lyrics may be dark, however, the tune and upbeat sound show that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, which is the positive message I am trying to portray.
A massive synthwave track about yearning for someone you have a crush on. I am sure we have all had these feelings in our youth at some stage. Remember looking over the dance floor when you suddenly become transfixed to this person. This is the song that you go and ask them for a dance.
Stranger To Me
This is another sensitive song about people who suffer from dementia. It gives an insight into what they go through and how one should care and support someone affected by this illness. Dementia patients often develop unusual behaviour, which is rational to them. We are not to judge. Caring for sufferers is mentally tough but the focus is to be patient and sensitive to their wellbeing and needs.
A powerful, hypnotic new wave/electronic track that sends a message to family and friends that living alone may sound easy and uncomplicated but behind the scenes, solitude is an unpleasant experience they are lucky not to endure. A lot of people are aware that loneliness occurs but have little idea of the actual effects it has on a person. The song reaches out to remind people that if they know someone in a similar position to act, give them a call or meet up with them now again to see if they are okay. It’s not hard but apparently and sadly it is in society.
This track came about after being verbally and mentally bullied in the workplace this year at two different companies. The sad reality is that there is very little you can do about it when you are not in a position of authority and if you complain, you are most likely to lose your job. I am sure this happens regularly, many times a day at work across Australia. We have all most probably been bullied at school in some form or other too but thankfully in this day and age, it is taken seriously. The song is a way of venting and it should empower others not to tolerate this kind of behaviour from anyone, in any shape or form. It doesn’t just happen in schools and this is a message to those people in the workplace to support and stick up for your colleagues so our voices are heard in numbers. It happens way too often than people actually realize.
Adored And Ignored
A dancy, catchy upbeat electronic track, that’s about manipulative, one-way relationships with either a partner or family. There has been a breakdown in a relationship somewhere along the line but remain in it for fear of being alone. One says they care for the other, however, there is very little interaction, care or regard and they carry on as though there is nothing wrong. To outsiders, it is very puzzling why one would settle for this. The other person may as well not be there, however, the arrangement works for some people, they wear their blinkers and it becomes normal to them.
As usual, I always put an “out there” dark filler track on my albums. Do you believe in Karma? We all like to think we do. The song is a reminder to all to be aware of your actions and words and how these may affect and influence others or events. Every action must have a reaction. Who knows what the returning force will be? It could be good or it could be bad, therefore make sure you are content with your decisions.
The Ghost In Me
A haunting electronic track with dark wave undertones. The song is a revengeful warning to those who cross you or do wrong by you in the present life, that it might come back to haunt them now or in the future. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting but if you repent, be honest, take responsibility for your actions and right wrongs, forgiveness can be earned. Many people make selfish decisions to suit themselves, knowing full well that it may upset others. Eventually, the decisions made eats away at them. It is subconsciously in the back of their mind and they slowly grow a conscience wondering why they cannot sleep at night.
A moody sounding track, which builds like a storm brewing which also means that there is going to be trouble or emotional upset in the near future. A relationship grows however it turns out to be turbulent as one is sucked in and abruptly spat out. The whirlwind even has a voice saying “ I can blow, it’s time to go”. A message of warning that it could happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time.
I have dealt with a few people with this trait over the years but this song has come about from a recent encounter. This person had an inflated sense of their own importance and put me down when I was succeeding, to make themselves feel better and superior. He had his peers fooled but none of the staff under him. He seemed pleasant enough at face value however when a simple work question was asked, he would see this as a personal attack or an undermining of his position. His true colours would then come out being rude and aggressive. I am now out of this volatile environment and can’t be thankful enough however I pity those still there working with him. He should really see a Doctor.
Prisoner Of Love
Prisoner Of Love is one of those songs where you just get a tune and words in your head, which sound really good. Luckily I was at home and was able to put it straight into a recording. If not I would have forgotten it. 5 hours later the song was complete. Sometimes you don’t need a reason or theme for a song. This is the perfect example. It has a kinky groove and just makes sense. Maybe subconsciously I want to be a prisoner of love, ha-ha. I would be so lucky.
Free The World
This is a song about solidarity and finding peace across the world. We are to blame for all life’s wars, disagreements and failures and we are the only ones who can fix them. However, this takes a collaboration of many, not the few. It is about everyone working together. People are speaking out which is starting to have major consequences across the world at the moment, however, there are always going to be some loose cannons around trying to satisfy their ego’s instead of focusing on the good of the world and people’s basic needs. There is no reason why anything cannot be worked out amicably and fairly for everyone.
The Ghostess In Me – Bonus Track Feat. Janne Villafor
This track is a different take of track eight The Ghost In Me, featuring female vocals. Janne is a very talented singer based in the Philippines. This is the 5th collaboration I have asked Janne to assist with me and she adds a different dynamic when she features, allowing my albums to remain inventive and interesting. Her inclusion is intentional so that I cater to listeners who may prefer female vocals. The story behind Janne is very interesting. She found me on Songbay and sent me a message saying admired my work. I asked if she could send me some examples of her work which were only classical and film theme covers, however I saw something very unique there. Electronic music was certainly not her genre but after a lot of encouragement, nurturing and guidance she has now found a new love and passion in this category and the rest is history.
Elevate is available now.