49 Above, Albums, Music, The Revue — January 19, 2015 at 7:45 am

49 Above: Dan Mangan & Blacksmith, “Club Meds”

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Vancouver based singer songwriter Dan Mangan’s music has been evolving sense his debut acoustic based self titled EP and first full-length LP, Postcards and Daydreaming.  Gone is the straight acoustic singer songwriter replaced with a more nuanced approach with true collaboration with his excellent backing band, Blacksmith. Dan has said that Club Meds is a team album with the band and that is exactly what it sounds like. It comes off more as a rock/pop album than typical folk album with a fuller, deeper, and more atmospheric sound.

The real charmer on this one is the synth driven and reverb soaked stand out track, Vessel”. An extremely fun pop number that even gets an all-star cameo with Foo Fighters‘ David Grohl providing some backing vocals with the refrain “It takes a village to raise a fool”. It has an 80’s Peter Gabriel thing going on complete with some closing horns and world beats.

“Mouthpiece” is equally as enthralling but with much darker tones, textures, and lyrics.  Dan sings “I want to breath in the ashes of books they tried to burn. I want to feel the pages in my skin and understand the words”. The rest of the album is more subtle and takes time to unfold but over repeated listening definitely builds and the more subtle songs like “Pretty Good Joke” begin to establish their own hooks and charms.

Club Meds has the warmth and authenticity of a fine winter album.  It is very nice start to a new year of music.  It is out now and can be purchased here.

Twitter – @danmanganmusic
Facebook – Dan Mangan Music

 

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