NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Today, Oh Boy Records announces the upcoming release of Dan Reeder’s newest project, Nobody wants to be you. on November 10. The five-song EP will be distributed by Thirty Tigers and was produced by Reeder himself.
Nobody wants to be you marks Reeder’s fourth release on Oh Boy Records, a relationship formed after Reeder sent a burned CD to John Prine in the early 2000’s. Prine listened, signed Reeder to his label, toured with him four times, and released all three of Reeder’s previous records: Dan Reeder (2004),Sweetheart (2005), and This New Century (2009). The albums garnered glowing reviews; publications like No Depression deemed him “brilliant,” and NPR’s Fresh Air compared Reeder to Prine himself. The New Yorker’s Ben Greenman coined him as “one of the foremost outsider artists in modern folk” and he was featured on the Emmy award-winning show Weeds (“Work Song”).
While Nobody wants to be you is the precursor to a full-length (set for a 2018 release), the EP isn’t lacking in tenacity and holds true to his distinct style: slightly quirky, painstakingly honest, and undeniably witty. Compared to its predecessors, his latest work delivers a brighter, more energized tone, full of what Reeder calls “easy piano.” This can arguably be heard on the first single, “Kung fu is my fighting style”, a rock-n-roll, piano-driven ballad with a uniquely-distorted electric guitar solo, which also happens to be the only guitar on the entire album. On the other hand, the opening and title track, “Nobody wants to be you” is much more soothing. The bluntness of the lyrics are softened by Reeder’s crooning; yet, even with multi-layered harmonies, his voice maintains its iconic “wisp.” While the album varies from the folk groundwork laid in the past, Reeder’s musical intelligence is as present as ever. When you listen to Nobody wants to be you, you’re hearing more than an album. You’re hearing every piece of a self-made artist and his multi-faceted skill set -- from the soulful, smoky vocal overlay to a singular, meticulous guitar sound, but best of all, you’re hearing the ingenuity that is Dan Reeder.
In addition to his musical background, Reeder designs all of his album art (including the cover of Nobody wants to be you., featured above) and is a critically-acclaimed visual artist. Since moving from California to Nuremberg, Germany, over 30 years ago, he has won various visual art awards, participated in numerous exhibitions, led art seminars, and took on a visiting professorship at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste (aka, Germany’s Academy of Fine Arts). In 2012, he published an overview of his work titled Art Pussies Fear This Book.