Back in 2009, Dan Mangan took the music world by storm when he released his sophomore LP Nice, Nice, Very Nice. This earned the Vancouver songwriter a Verge Music Award, a CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award, a slew of Western Canadian Music Awards and a shortlist nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, plus got him signed to the prestigious Arts & Crafts. Needless to say, the follow-up has been hotly anticipated.
Mangan recently finished recording his third album. Although none of the details are set in stone, he tells Exclaim! that it will likely be called Oh, Fortune and arrive in stores in late September.
"There's a lot of songs that are really noisy and full of fuzz and feedback loops and stuff like that," the husky-voiced singer says from Burnaby, BC's the Hive Creative Labs, where he is recording the new album. "It's a hugely different record from the last one. With the exception of maybe my voice, which kind of ties it together, you would assume it was an entirely different artist."
This will likely come as a shock to the many fans who were charmed by Mangan's folksy, radio-friendly past work. "There are so many different kinds of songs," he says of the new LP. "There's one song that's called 'Jeopardy' that's kind of like an old '50s pop tune. Sonically, it's reminiscent of that Sam Cook, Otis Redding kind of vibe. But then there's big, triumphant ensemble rock songs, and there's weird two-minute folk ditties that are filled with noise and chaos."
The record was mostly recorded at the Hive with Colin Stewart, with additional overdubs laid down at Mangan's home studio. He also recorded horns and strings at Vancouver's Armoury Studios. "There is quite a lot of ensemble stuff happening," Mangan reveals. "There's trumpet and sax and French horn and trombone and clarinet and bass clarinet and flutes and English horn, and I've got an amazing band."
The record will mostly likely contain 11 songs and mixing will be completed in the coming weeks. The songwriter will spend the summer on the road, and plans to tour more in the fall, once the record is out.
As for where his newfound sense of experimentalism will take him, Mangan says that this is just the beginning. "I have a feeling that I'm going to continue to get weirder as I go," he muses. "This album is weirder than the last one, which was weirder than the first one. It's all part of the progression, I think. I'm getting more and more comfortable doing things a little bit strangely."
The new album will be released by Arts & Crafts. Look for more concrete details about the new disc to emerge in the next few months. Until then, satisfy yourself with the album teasers below.