ENC graduate Dan Cantrell released his debut album, “No Budget,” on Sept. 3, under the stage name ‘Half Bad’.
“No Budget” weaves together a unique collection of punk, alternative rock, folk, and acoustic characteristics. The album includes classic high-energy rock songs such as “On the Hook” and “Recidivism”, but also managed to slow down the tempo in “Breezy Harbor.”
“I have so many different influences [that] I’m not just going to make one kind of music,” Cantrell shared. “I’m very interested to see how other people are going to describe it.”
The clearest example of Half Bad’s diversity is the albums’ inclusion of “Gold (Acoustic)” and “Gold (Electric).” The two songs feature the same lyrics and similar music but with opposite levels of intensity. Cantrell insists they are two separate songs, instead of one being a revision of the other.
“I really feel like the two different versions [are] two different,” explained Cantrell. “I feel like they’re equal.”
“No Budget” is an apt title for the album, as Cantrell produced it with absolutely no funds. All recording, mixing, and mastering took place in the Cove recording studio on campus.
Cantrell recorded a majority of the instruments and vocals himself, but also received help from some fellow ENC musicians. Junior Carlos Barranco provided most of the drum tracks for the album, and professor Jamie Brown added layers of violin on “How’s Your Life?”
Lyrically, “No Budget” serves as a glimpse into Cantrell’s life as a college student. It has a contemplative, sincere, and occasionally satirical tone as he reflects on his relationships with others.
“College is a time where all of your relationships change,” Cantrell commented on the subject matter.
With his debut album under his belt, Cantrell’s next step is networking with fellow musicians and venues, while simultaneously playing shows and connecting with fans across the New England area.
“No Budget” can be found on Bandcamp for download and purchase.