Portland’s Dan Klee is a man of many talents. He's a pop rock producer, a multi-instrumentalist and—in the best way—a serial punner. His musical prowess and love for wordplay are indicative of his musical style. Both lighthearted and thoughtful, his approach to songwriting and performing strikes a lovely balance.
Moreover, his performance of “Another” feels like a safe space for the listener to reside, a musical respite where joy and melancholy are equals. Of the song’s inspiration, Klee notes, “the song is about coming to terms with the fact that sometimes we don't get what we want, or what we think we want, and that's okay.”
Klee’s keen ability to encapsulate a feeling through his compositions becomes evident as you listen and watch. The tune has a jaunty, carefree rhythm section that provides a backdrop to highlight Sam Hunt’s trumpet solos that are just a bit, well, forlorn. Klee writes, “I think one of the magical things about art in general is its capacity to communicate a wide breadth of ideas, feelings, stories, even in ways that may have been unintended by the artist. I have written pieces [that are often] just instrumentals where I'm trying to reflect a mood I experienced. For me personally, it's incredibly satisfying to try and hold a mirror to ‘reflect’ the inspiration.”
This performance also marks a shift for Klee, who often records on his own, as he moves toward incorporating other musicians into his creative process. He has gathered together a group of like-minded musicians comprised of close friends and family he genuinely cares for and clearly holds in high regard, including his brother, Tim Klee, on drums; Michael Crotty on keys; Sam Hunt on trumpet; and Milo Fultz on bass. Klee reflects, “My friends tend to hear the holes in a song and are really able to glue things together. I tend to get caught up in a handful of ideas and sometimes lose sight of the whole... it’s always a joy to hear their characteristics bleed subtly into [the music].”
And it’s a joy to listen.