Thirty years ago, singer-songwriter Dan Wilson began his career as a performing artist in the psychedelic folk-rock group Trip Shakespeare. He then rose to fame as founder of the Minneapolis-based trio Semisonic in the late-nineties, best known for their Grammy-nominated hit single, “Closing Time.” A Harvard graduate, Wilson has also gained recognition as a prolific collaborator, having worked with Taylor Swift, Adele, Florence Welch, Sara Bareilles, the Dixie Chicks, John Legend, and many more.
More recently, he co-wrote and produced Adele’s hit single “Someone Like You,” which held the number one position for five weeks in the U.S. and remained in the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 for months. To round out this laundry list, two songs of his (collaborations with UK singer-songwriter Birdy) are featured on the soundtrack to one of this year’s summer blockbusters, The Fault In Our Stars.
This Friday, June 20, Wilson will be performing at Great American Music Hall promoting his latest solo record, Love Without Fear (2014). Released in April, Love Without Fear is Wilson’s follow-up solo effort to the seven-year-old Free Life. Wilson explained that his new album is “about being left alone and desperately wishing for connection and togetherness. The sound lives at the intersection of Americana and Beatles-influenced rock and roll, [with] a little bit of twang and a lot of cinematic emotion.”
The album includes “Even the Stars Are Sleeping,” a song written with Rachael Yamagata, and “When It Pleases You,” which was stylistically different on Sarah Watkins’ 2012 album, Sun Midnight Sun. In its eleven tracks, Love Without Fear also features guest appearances by singer-songwriter Blake Mills and Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins, along with vocals from Sara Bareilles and Missy Higgins.
For the tour, Wilson has released an illuminated set list, which reveals that he will be performing his full thirty-year span of critically-acclaimed music, covering many of the aforementioned collaborations. His closing night in San Francisco is one not to miss.