Daniel & The Real Feels is "a project that combines the cosmic sounds of Bowie with the gritty, down-to-earth feel of the Stones and the intimate live energy of the Kinks." [l'etoile magazine]
Far away from the twinkling lights of the Twin Cities, in what F. Scott Fitzgerald referred to as the “lost swede towns” of Minnesota, you usually won’t come by much resembling a music scene, especially one thought to be as bustling and steeped in history as that of the Twin Cities. For the gentlemen in Daniel & The Real Feels, their roots in the small town of Fergus Falls, MN presented an opportunity to forge musical community where little had existed, a community cradled in a shared love of the performative rock n roll and power pop greats. Think Stones, Bowie, Queen, T. Rex, Big Star.
These influences all come to a fore on the band’s debut album, Classic Entertainment (released July 2017). Though the album was produced in Los Angeles with an eye towards the glamorous neon glow of the city, the album’s spiritual center lies closer perhaps to the gritty, down-home haunts where the band collectively came of age and wrote most of these songs. To listen is to be invited into a soundscape of old rehearsal spaces and rustic locales. Imagine electric guitars reverberating off of oil-stained concrete and rusting tin in a car repair shop, county highways surrounded by cornfields and wetlands, cigarette stained wood-panelling in the basement of a disused arcade.
While the band is certainly indebted to their place of origin and Classic Entertainment plays on hometown nostalgia, the band’s participatory and energetic live show gives their songs an explosive immediacy and gravity. In this context, it’s no wonder the Minneapolis based band opted to track most of the album live to best capture raw power and emotion. Watch the band on stage and you realize their performative live set is never restrained by small-town modesty, but instead brims with the charisma of their musical forebears. Frontman Dan Olson has perfected the sinewy strut of Mick Jagger, the physicality of Iggy Pop, and the theatricality of Freddie Mercury in a way that is uniquely his own. To watch and listen to this band is to be simultaneously captivated by rock and roll’s perennial power and to be haunted by its past luminaries. Classic Entertainment is a testament to both.