Owen Danf considers his new single "Side Effects" — premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Nov. 13) — to be the first in a new wave music he has coming out, and a marked change from what he did before he appeared on Season 10 The Voice.
"A lot that was all very kind folk-rock, before I was into modern music production and the way things have changed over the last few years," Danf, who took up residence in Nashville three years ago and has written for Nashville’s Charles Esten among others, tells Billboard. "I've put out music before, but this all feels new and fresh for me. I love pop music, so it's leaning more in that direction."
Danf, who studied film scoring and bass at Berklee College Music, wrote "Side Effects" with Los Angeles friends Mike Schiavo and Allen Mattox curing a visit to Nashville, as well as Liv Miraldi. "It's about relationships," Danf says, "and how even after they end, no matter if it was the right decision or not, the heart has to do what it has to do, and so does the head. It's always a process, and there are side effects — they're not the real issues, but they're stuff that matters and definitely affect us." The song's musical approach, meanwhile, hearkens back to Danf's own musical roots.
"I love the acoustic songs on rock albums," he explains. "If Green Day puts out an album that has one acoustic song that's a little more low-key than the rest the album, I tend to gravitate towards that, because I'm all about lyrics and I love the emotions in songs. But I also grew up listening to rock and I love having that kind edge there. So in my mind this is my version that, even though I'm not a rock band. But that's where my head was."
"Side Effects" comes out Nov. 15, and Danf promises his "new wave music" has just started rolling. "My plan is to release a few singles over the coming months and lead into an EP and go from there and see what happens," he says.
"It's all definitely inspired by all the stuff I grew up loving, which includes Green Day but also people like Paul Simon, who are incredible lyricists. I'm really trying to find that blend what's organic and what's emotional and what speaks to the human experience but also sounds like whatever I'm used to listening to — but not in a pandering way. I'm naturally finding the best and most authentic way to express what I'm writing about."
Listen to “Side Effects” below.