Dan Mangan is a two-time JUNO award winner and 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. BLACKSMITH includes John Walsh, Gordon Grdina, Kenton Loewen, and often JP Carter, Jesse Zubot and Tyson Naylor.
The ensemble’s latest release, Club Meds, is a masterful blend that evokes images of subtler American-underground innovators like Blonde Redhead or Steve Reich, then hits emotional pay-dirt reminiscent of British scene-survivors like Peter Gabriel or Radiohead.
The album itself feels like a clearing of the air. It seems fitting, as after seven relentless years of near-non-stop touring, the entire ensemble, and especially Mangan, needed a break. So they took one, and ended up with a fastidiously organized piece of broken, imperfect art.
Club Meds is definitely a trip worth taking.