Article by: Lee Fraser
Fans will be fortunate this fall to see a new release from Dan Mangan.
The gravelly voice, the witty and intelligent lyrics, the music that carries you along like a wave... Oh, how we have missed you, Dan Mangan. But soon to be ours: luck, riches, choices, forces. Oh Fortune.
Dan Mangan has provided his fans with two albums of wonderful music and a few Toronto shows a year that were experiences to remember. In 2009, Dan played to a reasonably full Rivoli and initiated the moshing of a small robot. At the Horseshoe in 2010, the audience sing-along on "So Much For Everyone" was nothing short of soul-stirring. During Canadian Music Week 2010, Dan made us all feel like we were hanging out in his rec room during his appearance at Criminal Records. Later that week, he showed us his vulnerability at the Arts & Crafts Showcase at The Great Hall, awash in industry reps abundant enough to have wristband holders lining up early. Late in 2010, we were treated to a spiritual experience as Dan and his band filled the ethereal space of Trinity-Saint Paul's.
Aside from the amazing live performances, Dan Mangan has given us two very fine albums. The most recent, "Nice, Nice, Very Nice" was released what seems like a decade ago and was short-listed for the 2010 Polaris. It was a compilation of soul-baring tunes and observations on everyday life, with a song about robots thrown in for good measure. After an album as memorable as this, what do you do as a follow-up?
On September 27th, we will find out. In the meantime, the title track, "Oh Fortune", can be downloaded free of charge (see below). If you attended a 2010 show, chances are you heard a preview of this song. Lyrically, the song juxtaposes the struggles for wealth of eras past with the woes of today. Musically, the song features a constant beat by acoustic guitar, like time passing us by. Percussion provides strong punctuation. Dan's gravelly voice takes a serious lyric and puts a grin on your face. If this track is any indication, Oh Fortune will be our fortune this fall.