Brett Dennen
Brett Dennen

Brett Dennen

About Brett Dennen

Amiable West Coast singer/songwriter Brett Dennen first drew attention in 2004 with the single "Desert Sunrise." The tune, with its easy groove and soulful phrasing, garnered enough spins on radio to warrant the release of his self-titled debut the following year. Stylistically, Dennen's thoughtful, laid-back tunes fit in with the burgeoning singer/songwriter scene that had produced stars like Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, with relatably personal lyrics that are warm and expressive. Dennen first began garnering positive reviews with 2008's Hope for the Hopeless, touches of African music enlivened 2013's Smoke & Mirrors, and 2021's See the World lyrically balanced personal and global concerns.
Brett Dennen was born in Central Valley, California on October 28, 1979. His parents, who homeschooled him, enjoyed listening to Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and John Denver, and while attending summer camp, Dennen learned to play guitar, beginning with tunes from his family's record collection. He studied sociology and philosophy at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and in his free time he wrote songs and performed them with his friends, though a spell playing in a jam band was short-lived. After graduating from college in 2002, Dennen wanted to try his luck as a professional musician, and relocated to Los Angeles. He recorded a single, and the song "Desert Sunrise" clicked with listeners on Santa Monica College's influential public radio station KCRW-FM. Inspired by the success of the song, he cut his self-titled debut album, which was released independently in 2005.
He signed with Dualtone and released 2006's So Much More, followed two years later by Hope for the Hopeless. When he wasn't headlining his own tours, he could be found opening bills for Dave Matthews, Taj Mahal, Ziggy Marley, and Jackson Browne, among others. Dennen's fourth studio effort, Loverboy, arrived in 2011 and featured subtle African rhythms and more of a pop veneer. It was followed in 2013 by the sparser, acoustic-based Smoke and Mirrors, which was released by Atlantic. The album was a success and landed Dennen in Billboard's Top 200 for the first time. By this point he had also landed a number of prominent TV placements including the theme song of NBC's sitcom, About a Boy. His fifth album, 2016's Dave Cobb-produced Por Favor, was a rhythmic, stripped-down affair with a light reggae flair. For his next release, 2018's Let's..., Dennen collaborated with hitmaking songwriter Dan Wilson, who also produced the five-song EP. Dennen wrote the songs for 2021's See the World during a period of deep introspection, as he pondered the rewards of the musician's life along with his concerns as a father who is away from his family while on the road. ~ James Christopher Monger & Mark Deming

    Oakdale, CA
  • BORN
    28 October 1979

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