Q MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY 2015
(City Slang, Out 12 January)
One-time troubadour hits adult rock’s darkened highway.
Once a footlose folksy singer-songwriter, Vancouver’s Dan Mangan has been barely recognisable from one album to the next. The acoustic strums of 2010’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice gave way to the ensemble indie folk of Oh Fortune a year later, and on Club Meds he’s gone over to the dark side. As the album’s credit suggests, it’s not just Mangan these days, his band now solidified around him and an integral part of the creative process, sailing nearer to Wilco’s brand of rock music than The Band’s. The fractured feedback underlying both Offred and XVI, and swelling chant of “it takes a village to raise a fool” on Vessel (with Dave Grohl on backing vocals) reveal Mangan’s ossifying attitude to modern life and his need to insulate himself from its overload. Club Meds is a bold move from a rapidly developing talent.
– Andy Fyfe