Dalton Corr wants his listeners to twist and shout to a Beatles-inspired sound. The Steinhardt senior enjoys pairing 1960s songwriting styles with electronic and pop music in an effort to bridge the gap between his old interests and his forward-thinking mentality.
Corr said his experimentation with this unlikely genre pairing began when his friend invited him to a performance by French electronic musician Jacques at a Williamsburg church.
“His whole performance is based around having his audience bring in any random object that they want and then put them on stage,” Corr said. “And he takes those objects, records them on stages and makes an entire piece out of that. That really launched me into the world, that energy and that community.”
Corr also said that after the concert, he became an avid fan of Jacques and attended many of his other shows in the city. Corr now identifies Jacques as a major inspiration for his own electronic sound.
But Corr hasn’t always dabbled in alternative music genres. When he spent a semester studying abroad in Prague in 2014, he formed a band with several other NYU musicians. The group mostly performed covers of Beatles songs but occasionally played original music.
He explained that being in a band made his songwriting style differ greatly from his current techniques.
“I was really focused on making music that sounded good live, and I think that’s just the nature of that fact that I had a band,” Corr said. “Now I don’t have a band. I’m by myself — I’m here in Brooklyn just making music and I think that’s why my sound can become a little bit more guitar-based, a little bit more DJ set-up because I don’t have that band.”
Corr admitted that, although he did produce a few songs for the band, being in the group limited his ability to further explore his own interests. As a solo artist, he now has more freedom to reflect on the message he wants to convey through his songs.
Instead of just imitating his favorite legends, Corr said he also wants to embrace more contemporary and modern musical trends.
“For a while I was doing pretty basic songwriting — basic harmonies and melodies and whatnot — but over the [last] couple years I’ve become more interested in electronic music production and a lot of the DJ music scene in Brooklyn,” Corr said. “And right now I’m trying to combine those two interests and compose music with [a] more traditional pop melody but produce it with this really exciting, energetic live DJ music.”
His current genre-bending sound pays homage to The Beatles and his favorite band, Vampire Weekend. But the added electronic element acknowledges the effect the New York City music scene has had on his songs.
He also said that the city’s musical diversity has introduced him to new styles and methods of producing music. Corr said that the resources available to him in New York have helped him express his feelings for his small hometown of New Hope, Pa. The tools he’s acquired in the big city have allowed him to incorporate the positivity and acceptance of his upbringing into his musical creations.
With the release of his new single “I Think of You” scheduled for April 14, and his recent signing to NYU’s Village Records, Corr is looking toward the future without forgetting his past.
“I’m trying to combine two disparate genres of music that I don’t see overlapping much,” Corr said. “But it just feels like a natural me for me to create because it’s really a convergence of who I was before I moved to New York and who I am now, four years after moving to New York and about to graduate from NYU.”
Check out Dalton Corr’s original music at daltoncorr.com. A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 27 print edition. Email Sierra Jackson at [email protected]