11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dan Mangan hits his musical stride on his third studio album, Oh Fortune. Produced by Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Cave Singers, etc.), the lengthily titled opener, “About as Helpful as You Can Be Without Being Any Help at All,” has cascading drones that gradually blossom into a handsome orchestra of lush strings, horns, and woodwinds arranged by Eyvind Kang. (He composed similar arrangements for The Decemberists' Crane Wife.) Over all this, Mangan’s earnest voice sounds like he’s reinventing the sea chantey with an indie slant. “How Darwinian” is similarly ornate, but with more baroque-pop trimmings keeping Mangan’s folk approach to songwriting intact. The skittering electric guitar solos that distort and dance around “Post-War Blues” are rooted in pure ‘90s indie rock. But rather than take a similarly retro direction with his singing, Mangan’s manly baritone rails against the United States’ decade-long occupations in the Middle East. The somber “If I Am Dead” nicely contrasts distant-sounding whistles with Mangan’s upfront presence.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dan Mangan hits his musical stride on his third studio album, Oh Fortune. Produced by Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Cave Singers, etc.), the lengthily titled opener, “About as Helpful as You Can Be Without Being Any Help at All,” has cascading drones that gradually blossom into a handsome orchestra of lush strings, horns, and woodwinds arranged by Eyvind Kang. (He composed similar arrangements for The Decemberists' Crane Wife.) Over all this, Mangan’s earnest voice sounds like he’s reinventing the sea chantey with an indie slant. “How Darwinian” is similarly ornate, but with more baroque-pop trimmings keeping Mangan’s folk approach to songwriting intact. The skittering electric guitar solos that distort and dance around “Post-War Blues” are rooted in pure ‘90s indie rock. But rather than take a similarly retro direction with his singing, Mangan’s manly baritone rails against the United States’ decade-long occupations in the Middle East. The somber “If I Am Dead” nicely contrasts distant-sounding whistles with Mangan’s upfront presence.

TITLE TIME
3:06
3:33
3:42
4:06
2:40
4:24
3:22
4:12
4:07
2:25
5:05

About Dan Mangan

While growing up in Vancouver, songwriter Dan Mangan immersed himself in his parents’ record collection, paying special attention to albums by Nick Drake and the Beatles. Folk and pop thus became two of his biggest influences, and Mangan combined both genres while writing his own songs as a teenager. At 20 years old, he made his solo debut by releasing an acoustic EP, with the full-length Postcards and Daydreaming following two years later. Postcards and Daydreaming was later released in America, leading Mangan to increase his touring commitments and widen his fan base. In 2009, he returned with a second album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice, which landed on the Polaris Music Prize shortlist. Mangan followed up two years later with the Juno Award-winning Oh, Fortune, showing the troubadour's matured songwriting and arrangements, and produced by Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Cave Singers). Club Meds, Mangan's fourth studio album and first to be released under the Dan Mangan + Blacksmith moniker, arrived in early 2015. ~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Smithers, British Columbia, Canad
  • GENRE
    Alternative
  • BORN
    April 28, 1983

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