Thanks to a hit, “Make You Crazy,” that’s getting both radio play and VH1 support, Brett Dennen is a hot property at the moment. And the singer-songwriter from southern California has a pretty good idea why the music from his third album, “Hope For the Hopeless,” is finding an audience.
“My last album (‘So Much More’ in 2006) was a little more folky and appealed to more of a specific folk crowd,” Dennen, 29, explains. “ ‘Hope For the Hopeless’ has more of a pop sensibility, more of a mainstream production, a bigger sound — a sound I think people who listen to the radio are used to hearing.
“That was a conscious decision on my part to do that. I wanted to appeal to a bigger audience. I wanted it to grow, but I didn’t want to lose any fans I’d made from my previous albums. I wanted it to be right in the middle, just enough so I could get a song on the radio, but not too much so I would turn away my fans I’d built from being a folky.
“So far it seems to be working.”
Dennen wrote about 40 songs for “Hope For the Hopeless,” and he says that “Make You Crazy” is not one he expected to be a single, much less a hit.
“I wrote it the night before the last day of recording,” he recalls. “There were songs I wrote for the album that I was sure were going to be the single and the main center of the album — and some of those were songs that didn’t even make it on the album. And ‘Make You Crazy’ ended up being the first single.
“That was kind of weird, but I’m not complaining.”
Brett Dennen and Little Ones perform Wednesday (Feb. 18) at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 day of show. Call (734) 966-8555 or visit www.blindpigmusic.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to