VIA AMERICANA UK – 14 JUNE 2023
Here’s the premiere of a new version of Dan Whitehouse’s ‘New Love’, a beautifully delivered, emotive song abut reflecting on the past from a new and different perspective. It’s a sensitive, subtle, understated piece of work that provokes real feeling. In this stripped back live performance, recorded in A Small World Studio, Copenhagen, Gustaf Ljunggren supplies flowing keys, over which Whitehouse displays his range and weaves his way through a gorgeous vocal melody. This is a real performance, heartfelt and emotional, and Whitehouse is utterly absorbed in his song. Throughout, he demonstrates great vocal control and his delivery is particularly effective towards the end when he pauses and his voice drops low, almost whispering his repeated line. Whitehouse says of ‘New Love’: “This was written by five of us (Beth Aggett, Tom Milner, Mimi Jasson, myself and Alex Lowe) during an online writing retreat with Chris Difford during the summer of 2020. It was originally called ‘Home’ and started off as a song about nostalgia – we were reminiscing about nights out, having new feelings for past experiences. As the conversation developed, we found ourselves talking about everything from having to move home, to being displaced and what feels special to us. Mimi mentioned something about new love and Tom picked up on this as a romantic notion and so the idea developed from that direction too. The collaboration around this song was all about going with the flow and ending up in this place of newness and beauty.”
Last year’s album, ‘The Glass Age’, was a product of the pandemic and the isolation Whitehouse felt at the time. He was unable to see his son and could only connect with him via technology. Thus, social media and artificial glass screens became essential tools for maintaining those emotional, familial bonds. He explains: “I had an epiphany. Screens are okay! We should embrace them. They’re magical, really. A portal to our loved ones, in our pockets, at all times.” Now that we are able to experience the real world once again, Whitehouse urges us to remember the power of the digital world too: “I think we need to acknowledge the value and validity of both. Face-to-face hugs, holding hands, a sunrise waltz – or a digital wave with a daft doggy-ear filter on. The tears behind the screen are just as real.” The resulting album was released to critical acclaim in 2022. Now, the music has been given new life in an ‘acoustic sequel’, in which the stripped back arrangements and instrumentation really allow the emotional heart of the songs to be exposed. New versions of the songs have been released on ‘Reflections On The Glass Age’, which is out now.
The sound capture for this video is actually the audio used on the new album. Whitehouse says: “These new versions of the songs evolved so organically. They began life in hibernation, and were recorded and produced remotely. Now, stepping out from behind the glass, I’ve been able to breathe new life into them.” Indeed, the songs are delicate, fragile, vulnerable pieces but are full of life and feeling. Be absorbed.