Here we go folks! Club Meds is the brand new album from Dan Mangan and his now credited band Blacksmith. Released on January 13th and as you may have all ready heard the singles; “Vessel,” and “Mouthpiece,” you are in for a ride when you hear the album in it’s entirety.
The reasoning behind the band’s added title “Blacksmith,” is because Mangan and the band collectively wrote both lyrically and instrumentally for the album. The band has evolved from playing as backing musicians of a great folk artist, to melding together to become a single dynamic substance. Keaton Loewen, the Blacksmith’s drummer gave some great imagery when talking about the band when they played a “Secret Session” for Toronto’s independent radio station INDIE88 saying:
“Blacksmith brings flesh and muscle to bones, he (Dan Mangan) brings bones, we make bodies.”
When folk fundamentals meet the electricity of psychedelic, Dan Mangan and Blacksmith create a dreamy lullaby of reverb and distortion. A maze through echoes of guitar riffs and rocky paths over static synthesizers. “Mouthpiece,” a humming ominous choir that leads to rolling, galloping, pounding drums with rhythm and lead guitars to match. A hearty screaming Mangan takes the chorus and charges, with the band following like a train on fire. This song right here, is a hell of a tune and is bound to get you going. “A Doll’s House/Pavlovia,” is the collaboration work of Dan and Gordon Grdina, the guitarist and second set of vocals. Gordon had written “A Doll’s House” prior to the album and through creative experimentation Mangan wrote a second series of lyrics. The two are over lapped to create an even more ghostly atmosphere, answering and calling back and forth.
Try not to quickly scarf this incredible record down, no matter how excited you are, take the time in reading and understanding the lyrics and meanings of the songs these guys have poured into. Upon the same date as the records release Dan wrote an insightful track for track description of his mentality behind the songs for UK’s music magazine DIY. You can also read the article on the bands website.
Give a listen, take a read, for this is a compelling example for music of 2015.
Review by Tyler Tibbitts | @TyTibbitts