Photos by Evan Daniels.
Download: Daley – For Those Who Wait EP
If you really want to play the “don’t judge a book by it’s cover game,” you have to look at UK soul crooner Daley. From first glance it seems like he might front a new-wave outfit or some indie hipster emo band. But once he takes the mic, it’s all soul. In fact, if you listen to his free EP (hands down the best R&B release of 2011), you would see that he’s more Maxwell than Robert Smith. His soul pairings are more akin to “back in the day” than the edgier soul we’re hearing today. (His cover of Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings” is solid.)
Being in New York City, you’re used to seeing short sets. A showcase is where an artists will give you a taste of what they’ve got, hoping that it would lead to more shows and press in the future. Knowing this the crowd usually files out after a show, satisfied with the results. However, after this show there was a strong demand for Daley to play more songs. When I say strong, I mean people were shouting for his return on stage. This dude has most certainly got it.
Daley’s acoustic set consisted mainly of songs from his EP, and off the bat you realize that he is a competent live performer, commanding the stage from start to finish. And the packed audience (many of whom knew every word from the EP) bought it up. After the show, Daley was ambushed by fans wanting photos and autographs. Not bad for an unsigned Brit.
The demand for Daley ensures one thing. America wants more back to basics soul in their lives, and Daley’s most certainly here to provide.