When Danielle Anderson first picked up a ukulele, she didn’t know she was ahead of the curve.
“I had no idea when I first started playing that it was gonna be a thing or that it was,” the leader of the band Danielle Ate the Sandwich said. “Only recently, when I started playing ukulele festivals, did I realize that it was such a subculture. There’s so many people who play ukulele and love it, and eat, sleep and breathe it.
“It’s nice to have those crazy people in my fan base because they’re diehards,” she added.
And those diehards get a new fix this week thanks to the release of “Like a King,” the second full studio album by Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Although a majority of the songs have Anderson on guitar, she plays baritone or tenor uke on the others.
Above all, “Like a King” is eclectic, Anderson — who uses the sandwich moniker when introducing herself — said from her home in Denver.
“(They’re) all a little bit different,” she said. “There are some that sound almost bluegrassy, borderline Americana, kind of old-timey.” Blues, country and pop singer-songwriter also have their places in the band’s musical resume.
“There’s a good variety, even a bossa nova tune. There’s a lot going on, but because of my songwriting style and the taste level of the musicians I played with, I think it makes sense,” she added.
Among the offbeat tunes on “Like a King” is “Faith in a Man,” which has two videos showing online. In the first, she’s in the back of a minivan that’s driven by Miles, the mascot of the Denver Broncos pro football team. The other, posted at the beginning of the week, has a Depression-era, black-and-white feel.
“We thought we could make a fun, old-timey video for it. (A production company) came up with the plots and sets and costumes. It was nice working with people who have an idea of what they wanted to do,” Anderson said.
“Usually, I can be pretty controlling and bossy to get my idea across, but I totally trusted these guys to do a good job,” she added. “They did most of the work, I just showed up to sing the song.”
For Anderson, who spent 14 of her 26 years living near Fremont, Neb., before moving to Colorado, “Like a King” could be a major step in her career.
“It feels like it could be a really big success,” she said. “I think the songs and the musical arrangements could reach out to bigger fan bases and demographics that I haven’t hit with my other records.”
Danielle Ate the Sandwich — she’s joined on this trip by a violinist and an upright bass player — is on tour to promote the new album, including a stop next week at the Rozz-Tox in Rock Island.
With her long, dark hair, dark-rimmed glasses and ukuleles, Anderson can understand why there may be comparisons with singer-actress Zooey Deschanel.
“I don’t mind the comparison because I see the similarities. I’m not too fond of being compared to anyone, honestly. And I think it’s going to happen. It’s natural for people to compare to other people that they know,” she said.
“Don’t tell Zooey Deschanel, but I think I’m a better songwriter than her,” Anderson added.
If you go
What: Danielle Ate the Sandwich, with Bethann Gavin
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, June 14
Where: Rozz-Tox, 2108 3rd Ave., Rock Island
How much: $8
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