“I saw him live at Green Man Festival and went and bought his EP straight after!” - Huw Stephens, Radio 1
“Beautiful, troubadour voice. A credit to the youth of today” - Dermot O’Leary, Radio 2
“His songwriting is already at a level well beyond his years” - Stereoboard.com
20 year-old singer-songwriter Dan Bettridge is to release his Darker Days EP on February 24. The new four track EP follows on from last year’s Hunter’s Heart EP – which prompted BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary to label Bettridge “a credit to the youth of today”. A short UK tour is planned to support the release, culminating at London’s St. Pancras Old Church on March 9.
Dan resides in the seaside village of Ogmore-by-Sea, South Wales, where he first picked up a guitar at age 7 and began to play along to the music that his parents would play from artists such as Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell. Having impressed his now manager whilst playing at her birthday party, Dan opted to quit his photojournalism university course to focus on his music.
During long but organic and highly productive recording sessions which took place in the attic of producer Charlie Francis’ (REM, Future Of The Left, The Noisettes) home, Dan recruited a team of musicians - Rhodri Viney, Lucy Rivers, Brendan Bayliss, Lucy Simmonds and Dan’s mother who sings on ‘Home’) - to flesh out his songs. The relationship between Dan and his producer came about when Francis was impressed by Dan’s performance on a radio session in the BBC Wales studio. Their collaboration is perhaps best represented on the EP’s title track, ‘Darker Days’ – a song which ended up shifting from guitar to keyboard-heavy. Of ‘Darker Days’, Dan recalls:
“I closed my eyes to sing it so that I had no distractions and we went through the entire song from start to finish. When it ended, Charlie swung around and said he loved it. Holding back tears I mumbled 'Good, me too'.”
It’s clear then that Dan’s live performances win him fans; with his management, producer and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens all being prime examples of the rule. With a short tour planned to coincide with the Darker Days EP release, more will doubtless be won over by Dan Bettridge’s gentle and irresistible folk-tinged songs.