Dan Mangan is a two-time JUNO award winning & two-time Polaris Music Prize listed musician and songwriter. Through many twists, turns and a good deal of fortune, Mangan’s primary project has come to be known as Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, recently releasing their fourth LP, Club Meds, to much critical acclaim. The new namesake is timely, as this album is indicative of a new beginning, of sorts.
Call it entering one’s thirties or taking a few years away from the road to sit and reflect. Or, perhaps, more than ever before, call it having something to say. “Blacksmith” is Kenton Loewen, Gordon Gardina, John Walsh (and often Jesse Zubot, JP carter and Tyson Naylor). Many of these musicians have played with Mangan for years, but there’s a reaffirmed cohesiveness or communal sensibility that merits the marquee amendment.
Club Meds is about sedation. Sedation can be chemical, but not exclusively so. There is a great vacation from actuality going on. Maybe there always has been. It seems like everybody else is already at the party and that life is somehow easier or more fun under the fog. But instead, it only makes people feel more alone, more dangerous, more desperate.
It’s okay, though. We’re all just particles.