Danny Blu: Saint – Music Review

12284982-danny-blue-saintDanny Blu returns to the charts with his sophomore album “saint,” released in late February. Danny Blu, a New Jersey native who calls NYC home, created a buzz among indie music aficionados with his debut album Do Your Worst.  Danny Blu has a strong presence in the LGBTQ community with his message of self acceptance and advocacy for LGBTQ issues.  The first single off Do Your Worst, “Set Me On Fire” and its accompanying video, set the tone for the Danny Blu aesthetic.  Danny is reminiscent of other DIY artists like Tying Tiffany or The Sexbots who have a strong visual arts background and are part performance artist and part musician.  And most importantly, don’t want to compromise their vision and personal connection with their fan base as their star rises.

Danny calls his particular brand of electro industrial combined with glam rock “industrial pop.”  “saint” is an eclectic blend of tracks peppered with religious references.  (Danny’s video for “Set Me On Fire” famously depicts the story of the persecution of Jesus as a metaphor for the oppression of misfits in a high school setting.)  Danny explores issues like tolerance, hypocrisy, pain, love and sex that serve to provoke and leave the listener vaguely unsettled.  Rock ballad “Asunder” and the almost hymnal sounding “Guilty” contrast to the rock out industrial stompers “As It Seems” and “Sebastian.”  One of my favorite tracks is the “In The Dark (Faust Remix)” that takes an EDM direction with its danceable electronic sound.  “Something to Believe In” is the kind of crossover track, like “Set Me On Fire” was on his first album, that would even be at home on commercial radio and will broaden his appeal.

I had the opportunity to interview Danny Blu a couple of times and learned about his passion project of anti-bullying.  Danny Blu and The Factory Blu have been conducting a fundraising campaign called “The Road to Change” to aid in creating a film documentary and web series that will chronicle his visits to schools, community centers and LGBTQ organizations to speak with disenfranchised youths and coinciding with his North American Sanctuary Tour.  Danny experienced bullying as a misfit teen and discovered music and the arts as a means of self expression and healing.  The mantra that he calls The Gospel of Blu is “Live life without hate, without regret, and without fear of the freak within.”

While the North American Sanctuary Tour is fully funded, contributions to “The Road To Change” cover costs like crew, equipment and production.  Those who have an interest in becoming what Danny likens to investment angels and saints can get information on indiegogo.com.  At different donation levels, angels/saints can receive goodies ranging from CD’s and posters to a day in the recording studio and even an unplugged concert in your front yard.  Organizations and businesses are welcome sponsors.  Community groups and schools who are interested in hosting Danny to speak at their location about bullying can make that happen by getting in touch at thefactoryblu.com.

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Author: DJ Knix

Spinning electronic music on The Knix Mix every Friday night on Community Radio WERU FM 89.9 Blue Hill 99.9 Bangor and online at weru.org. Check out my blog for interviews with artists and updates on the Maine music scene.