Once a mere fresh faced folk singer from Vancouver, Canada, Dan Mangan now stands at the world’s doorstep. The evolution of Mangan’s music is instinctively in line with its breadth and sincerity. As his art has developed, so has the story behind its constant and exponential proliferation. The proof is in the countless European jaunts. U.S. tours with The Walkmen, Decemberists and Okkervil River. The two performances at Glastonbury. Multiple trips to Australia. NPR features, endless critical acclaim. Sold out theatres across Canada. The 2010 Polaris Music Prize short list nomination for his sophomore album Nice, Nice Very Nice capped a stellar year in which Dan won iTunes Album of the Year in the singer songwriter category, a trio of CBC awards and was named XM The Verge Artist of the Year.
Mangan and his band experienced life-changing door openings, new challenges and wonderful opportunities across the globe. Indeed, Dan’s musical passport now bears stamps from places - figurative and literal - many artists will never visit.
And so he arrived at the challenge of a new record. Oh Fortune, which itself arrives September 27 on Arts & Crafts, is a far more ambitious offering than its predecessor. A rich, textured, indie- folk(ish) statement that explores the genre’s boundaries with great influence from his band, which pushed Dan beyond his comfort zone sonically, even as he dug deeper within himself.
“The sound has been stretched in different directions by the players and how they've warped my mind over the last few years,” Dan admits, adding, “I always simply aimed to surround myself with people who were creatively inspiring.” These players include free-jazz experimentalists Gord Grdina (guitar), Kenton Loewen (drums) and the inimitable John Walsh (bass), as well as a near orchestra that helped shape the production. There was also a ringer call to Seattle’s Eyvind Kang (Bill Frisell, Beck, Mike Patton, Marc Ribot) who helped write the lush arrangements on Oh Fortune.