Dan Mangan Postcards and Daydreaming

This Vancouver-based songsmith has earned a local following and this full-length debut attracted attention there when first released over a year ago. Mangan has also been gaining fans in the UK (he’s toured there twice) and the re-release of Postcards and Daydreaming should boost his profile across Canada. Opening track "Not What You Think It Is” serves notice that this 24-year-old is a highly promising talent. It’s a moody epic (six minutes long) full of subtle sonic touches, like the muted trumpet in the background, the soft female harmony vocals and the bold guitar twang of Simon Kelly. Other songs are equally adventurous (another album highlight, "So Much For Everyone,” clocks in at nearly seven minutes), giving the disc something of a chamber folk feel, at times. The production and engineering work of Daniel Elmes is both restrained and effective, while Mangan’s strong, slightly husky voice and poignant lyrics are convincing. The prevailing mood is sombre and melancholy, and the inclusion of at least one up-tempo or breezy tune would have been welcome. There is poetic power here though, and Mangan’s career progress will merit watching. (File: Under Music)