Daniel Fears’ musical journey is unconventional. He grew up in a religious Houston household where pop music was forbidden, but perhaps this is exactly what makes his debut EP Canopy so captivating. His ear is untainted from years of pop music conditioning, and his debut is singularly unaffected because of it. Canopy can’t be described as anything but a Daniel Fears record.
Secular music may have been forbidden, but that doesn’t mean music wasn’t central in his life. His mother was the music director at his church where he played drums, and he played trombone at school–eventually graduating from UT and Yale intending to pursue a classical music career. However, pop music’s forbidden allure grabbed him and we should all be thankful it did. Canopy could be played any time, any place, and for anyone and be the right choice, but it especially rewards close listeners. You know someone’s good when they know when to hold back, and Fear’s debut has depth and sophistication that doesn’t call attention to itself. It’s a rare alechmy of pop-innocence and elite musicianship.
The most exciting thing about Fears is that Canopy is his first release as a secular musician. His inimatable style will only become more interesting as his unique ear absorbs new sounds, and he has all the musicianship to make it reality. The classical training also makes him an incredible live performer, check out his studio 1A session below.
Artist: Daniel Fears
Date: Dec. 2, 2021
Album: Canopy EP
Daniel Fears, vocals, trombone; Mike Dabila, drums; Claudio Ramirez, bass, synth
Engineer: Jake Perlman; Producer: Deidre Gott; Cameras: Gabriel C. Pérez, Patricia Lim, Video Edit: Patricia Lim