Leave it to Dan Davidson to bring a new twist to country music that we can’t get enough of.
The Alberta-bred singer/songwriter seamlessly blends the nostalgia of 80’s pop with edgy production and modernized country on his latest project Nineteen Eighty Something, which is currently available for listening on all streaming platforms.
“It’s a little surreal!” Davidson tells Celeb Secrets Country about finally releasing his new record. “Making an album is such a strange thing. You labor over every little decision for months sometimes — carefully crafting each detail, trying to make sure all the songs point in the same direction. It’s a lot of fun, and a tremendous amount of work, and when it finally comes out it’s a combination of so many feelings! Relief, anxiety that people wont react the way you want (or at all – which would be worse!), and pride.”
Stepping into a bold new era with Nineteen Eighty Something, the crooner pulled from his rocker roots to create an irresistible blend of modernized country that houses the perfect amount of edgy pop nostalgia. It’s the most elevated and polished collection he’s got, and Dan says that fans will be pleased to hear that his “signature get drunk and fall in love songs” are on display, however, they are reimagined to reflect his new project’s direction.
“I think thematically in my songs – I write ‘get drunk and fall in love’ songs very well. That comes out naturally to me – I suppose you write what you know,” he laughs.
“I think this vibe still comes across with this record, but also there are a LOT of lyrics speaking to nostalgia. I think everyone knows what it’s like to have a song take you back to a time and place. I love that feeling, and I think as I get older I can appreciate how beautiful it is to look back and be happy with the memories you’ve made,” he concludes.
Celeb Secrets Country sits down with Dan (virtually) to learn more about Nineteen Eighty Something, the reasoning behind this new sound, what he’s most proud of from making the record and what fans can expect from the star-in-the-making’s near future.
Keep scrolling to read our full Q&A with Dan below and let us know what you think of Nineteen Eighty Something by either leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sliding into our DMs on Instagram at @celebsecretscountry.
You can connect with Dan by giving him a follow on Instagram at @itsdandavidson.
Celeb Secrets Country: Your new album Nineteen Eighty Something is finally here! How does it feel to have a project you’ve worked so hard on officially out in the world for people to hear?
Dan Davidson: “It’s a little surreal! Making an album is such a strange thing. You labor over every little decision for months sometimes – carefully crafting each detail, trying to make sure all the songs point in the same direction. It’s a lot of fun, and a tremendous amount of work, and when it finally comes out it’s a combination of so many feelings! Relief, anxiety that people wont react the way you want (or at all – which would be worse!), and pride. I find that at the end of the day once a record comes out and I listen front to back on Spotify, I forget about all the little decisions and FINALLY can enjoy it from a broad perspective, and that feels great.”
CSC: We know that the record puts you in a new direction when it comes to sound. How did you find your sound for this project and what was that process like for you?
DD: “Well, during the writing process I had a lot of songs that sounded like cool country songs on an acoustic guitar – but I wanted to challenge myself as a writer and producer. So I decided to work in some elements of songs that were really inspiring me through the writing sessions. A lot of my inspirations came from the classic songs from the 80s/90s from artists like Don Henley, Bryan Adams etc. Also, I drew inspiration from some modern retro-pop bands like Arizona and St. Lucia. My challenge to myself was how to take these analogue sounds I loved and make it all work in a country production. It was a lot of fun – working keyboards, drum machines etc into the tunes really brought that nostalgic bright sound to life! At the end of the day though, these are just good songs that you could play on a guitar and still make it work!”
CSC: Was there anyone or anything that inspired this project’s direction?
DD: “I think really just a desire to not repeat myself. I want to take fans on a journey and show them I’m not just a one trick pony 🙂 Showing depth and personality is what I think makes artists stick around.”
CSC: In addition to singing the songs, you also took on the role of producing these tracks. How did this additional role challenge you to be the best at your craft and what did you learn about yourself throughout this process?
DD: “I think the main challenge was to take my ego out of the equation and look at the songs from 40,000 feet. Also, trusting the people around me to help inform my decisions was crucial. Co-producers, players, writers, publishers… really focusing on feedback from my team was super healthy. This album was all about chasing a feeling. I think I learned that it’s best to lean into your strengths and trust the people around me!”
CSC: Is there a certain story that you are trying to tell with this batch of songs?
DD: “I think thematically in my songs – I write ‘get drunk and fall in love’ songs very well. That comes out naturally to me – I suppose you write what you know (laughs).
I think this vibe still comes across with this record, but also there is a LOT of lyrics speaking to nostalgia. I think everyone knows what it’s like to have a song take you back to a time and place. I love that feeling, and I think as I get older I can appreciate how beautiful it is to look back and be happy with the memories you’ve made.”
CSC: Which song are you most proud of and why?
DD: “I think I’m most proud of ‘He Met A Girl.’ I think it’s just a well written hooky song, and I LOVE how it morphs from a ‘boy meets girl’ story, into a ‘guy meets his daughter’ story. As a dad, this speaks to me.”
CSC: How does Nineteen Eighty Something set the precedent for new material that you may be working on for future releases?
DD: “I’m not sure to be honest! There are a lot of sides to my writing. I’d love to make a more songwriter-y acoustic album one of these days! Maybe that will be next for me! Hard to say. I think each album is always informed by what happened in an artists life that year. I’m doing my best to let life dictate the art and not the other way around.”
CSC: Do you plan on taking the record out on tour soon?
DD: “YES! Tour starts very soon! Here are the dates so far…
- Nov 10 – Sherbrooke @ Bronco Country
- Nov 22 – Vancouver @ The Hollywood Theatre
- Nov 24 – Calgary @ Commonwealth
- Nov 26 – Edmonton @ Starlite Room
- Nov 27 – Red Deer @ Bo’s
- Nov 28 – Saskatoon @ Coors Event Centre
- Nov 29 – Winnipeg @ The Park Theatre
- Dec 2 – Grande Prairie @ Better Than Freds”
CSC: What’s one goal — whether personally or professionally — that you’d like to achieve within the next year?
DD: “Well – this year I’d like to take my Nineteen Eighty Something tour to Ontario and the east coast for sure. Other than that, Im doing my best to keep developing in Australia. Ive had SUCH a good run down there over the last couple years. Ive just booked my 3rd tour down under and Im hoping to establish myself as a headliner there as well.”
CSC: Since we’re Celeb Secrets, do you have any secrets (fun facts) about making the album that we wouldn’t know just by listening to it?
DD: “Well – the saxophone solo on Spirit Of 17 was hacked together from a bunch of terrible sounds I found on YouTube! When you solo it, it sounds TERRIBLE but in the track its magic!! I tried to track a real saxophone but nothing could beat my questionable YouTube sample hack job!”