Artist Picks // Dan Mangan
I grew up in a lot of places so I'm fairly adaptable. I mostly grew up in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It's a beautiful city and a new city. Its aesthetic charm has lent itself to a real estate boom of insane proportions. It's still figuring out exactly where it stands when it comes to the nature of the sweat on the walls. It could be a lot of different kinds of cities in a few decades. I hope it continues to foster arts and culture and a vibrant middle class.
When I was a kid, music was entirely play. As I got older and began writing it myself, it became more and more of an obsession, and eventually an occupation. It's a weird thing to consider music a job, because it never begins that way. Once it takes over, it's not just being self employed, it's consuming in every sense. It becomes your lifestyle, your peer-group, your perspective on the world. You travel a lot. Which is good. I travel a lot. I like to think that the people I love know that I love them, though sometimes I'm better at showing it than other times. I believe we get back whatever we put out there - so if you're a cynical prick who is self serving, then you'll end up surrounded by people like that, which will feed the jadedness and reinforce those tendencies, rationalizing more ass-holery. If you're a warm person who gives generously and accepts that vulnerability can be a conduit to a really full and rich life, then you'll find your environment to the brim of people who make life really amazing.
I like books, though I don't read enough lately. I like films. I like making food for people, and I'm not bad at it - especially foods that come in pots like soups, chillies and stews. I just made my third album with an incredible community of musicians, and it took about five months to make. It was such a labour of love that it nearly made me crazy. I took some space away from it and now I'm feeling really great about the whole experience and the outcome. Some people won't get it, but that's okay. It takes time to get to know. Some people think it's "sad" music, but it's not. I like to think it's "honest" music.
Listening to: 'Provider' by Bry Webb. It’s out now. It's beautiful. While I was ordering it, I found another album by The Luyas on the same record label that I'm really enjoying also. I've had the song 'Sara' by Chad VanGaalen stuck in my head for weeks.
Reading: I've intended to start 'The Age Of Persuasion; How Marketing Ate Our Culture' by Terry O'Reilly & Mike Tennant for weeks. Terry's show on the CBC is utterly brilliant.
Watching: Half way through the last season of 'The Wire' currently. Don't tell me how it ends. It's probably the best show I've ever seen. Recently saw the film 'Anonymous' about the works of Shakespeare, and it was really good.
Playing: This morning I figured out how to play 'Trees Lounge' by Hayden. It was in my head when I woke up and I couldn't leave the house until I'd sorted out the chords. Great tune.
Eating: Had sushi for lunch - it was kind of mediocre unfortunately. I will make up for it tonight somehow. Haven't decided which direction to go. I just got home from 7 weeks straight on the road and cooking for myself is an odd luxury.
Promo Info: Dan’s playing the End of the Road Festival’s Christmas Shindig at London’s Cargo on December 8th. Oh Fortune is out on December 5th through City Slang.
Purchase and listen
Right now, we're sitting in Deaf Institute in Manchester ready for some delicious food to keep us energised for supporting Bombay Bicycle Club at the Apollo tonight. Last night of our section of the tour and its been incredible. Next week we'll be back in Nottingham and locking ourselves in a practise room until the finishing touches of this album have been completed. [read more]
Little girl lost from Kansas moves to London, grows up and makes 5th album in LA for a change of scene… lives and breathes music day and night. When not songwriting in a little red book on an oblique London tube journey or cooped up in a windowless studio, I am probably watching dogs run around the park, baking something sweet, or cross-stitching a skull on a tea towel. [read more]