Dan From Downingtown is a musician, singer, songwriter, and percussionist from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. In this new release, he tells his version of the Beatles tale with “For No One”. This is a tune that you’re going to want to add to your next dreamy-yet-melancholy playlist.
As the hazy piano establishes the song, we get the feeling that we’ve gone back in time. Forget the ‘oom-pah-pah” and sixteenth notes of the original, Dan’s “For No One” more accurately captures the sentiment of the words.
The lingering sounds of the piano slowly transform into a lush string arrangement as the artist’s somber tone hints at his own, genuine experience.
“Your day breaks
Your mind aches
You’ll find that all the words of kindness linger on
When she no longer needs you”
As the song progresses, it becomes even more vintage-sounding. That is, until the synth bass hits.
Some music critics say “never cover The Beatles”, but I could listen to Dan From Downingtown on repeat. This artist has cultivated the perfect balance between staying true to the original while simultaneously creating something new.
As a flower might mature into a seed pod, the descending string line passes its energy off to the shaker. The piano is now at the forefront of the mix now, with no fuzz, suggesting that perhaps we have made it into the present day. The emphasis on the backbeat strengthens further, with the addition of the tambourine. But next up was the real surprise: an instrumental.
The intensity of the additional break was so fitting that I almost didn’t notice the original didn’t have one. His crisp percussive fills and heroic guitar melody are extremely adventurous and satisfying. We even get a hint at a heavier, chuggy vibe just before it chills out again.
“A love that should have lasted…. “
As the chorus is repeated we wait anxiously for the final word; Dan sonically drops us on our faces, right back into the tumultuous verse, with a more lush and succulent instrumental backdrop than before.
I had been imagining those sweet baroque-pop harmonies for the entire tune, and in the end, we finally got them.
This longer, more bleak version of “For No One” captures the essence of the emotional lyric at a cellular level.
Dan From Downingtown’s poetic progression of drums and quintessential dark, contrasting stepwise ahs that take us to the end of the tune, finally giving us a chordal resolve that we never got back in 1966.
“The whole process of writing and recording “stasis” was a nerve-wracking one, but in the end, I’m really happy with the way the whole piece turned out, and the wonderful reception I got from people all over the world. But in the back of my mind, I knew that I had to think about the next thing. I am in the process of recording a new EP for the summer/ fall right now. But in the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to piss off the music community by covering The Beatles.
The Beatles have always been one of my favorite groups. And I would say that they are the greatest band of the last one hundred years. If you asked me to pick their best song, I don’t think that I could do it. In my mind, everything they ever did was a hit. Personally, my favorite song they recorded is “Penny Lane,” but when thinking about what song to cover, “For No One” just kind of spoke to me.
My whole thing about people covering other artists is that it has to sound like the person covering it. I didn’t want to make a crappier copy of an already perfect song. So I tried my best to make it sound like me. I’m sure my cover is going to piss off the music elitists that think “The Beatles” should go untouched. But honestly, if a band like “The Beatles” cared about what people thought of their music at the time, they probably wouldn’t be the band that everyone knows about.“
– Dan From Downingtown