MORE OR LESS OUT NOW VIA ART & CRAFTS
CANADIAN TOUR DATES BEGIN JAN 23
PHOTO CREDIT : Vanessa Heins // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
On Friday, November 2nd, JUNO Award-winning singer-songwriter, Dan Mangan, released his fifth studio album, More or Less. An inspired collection of wonderfully relatable songs that manage to eschew the confines of what you might expect from a singer-songwriter. Produced by Drew Brown (Radiohead, Beck) and Simone Felice (The Lumineers, Bat For Lashes), the 10 songs feel as timeless as they do progressive.
Today, Dan Mangan is releasing the third episode of his More or Less Songwriting Series where he explores the craft by deep-diving into selections from his catalogue and deconstructing the ideas and influences that’ve had the biggest impact on him as a songwriter. In this episode, Mangan discusses “Fool For Waiting”, the minimalist love ballad and first single from More Or Less, how he had never written a love song before, and how it was influenced by John Legend.
MORE ABOUT THE SONGWRITING SERIES
Directed by Stuart Gillies, the first two episodes dive into “So Much For Everyone”, a track from his first LP, Postcards And Daydreaming, and “Just Fear”, a recent single from the newly released More or Less. Fans can follow along on the microsite, or listen to the Spotify and Apple Music playlists of songs that will be explored over the next 12 months.
“There exists a cliché that artists resent their early work, even when it is well received - and that’s because the writer cannot disconnect the song from their previous self that created it,” says Mangan. “It’s like seeing an old photograph of yourself. It’s hard not to feel a touch embarrassed at what hindsight has illuminated about the former self, but also fondly nostalgic for any sweetness that the image resurrects.
Songs are like mile markers on the side of the highway. They mark specific moments in the writer’s development - both broadly as a person and specifically as a songwriter. Songs are also like kids. They’re fun to conceive, but inevitably quite trying to bring into the light.
It was exceptionally cathartic to go back in time and dig into the songs that have coloured my professional life. I’ve spent most of my life thinking about songwriting in the way that an accountant has spent their life thinking about numbers. It occurred to me that it might be an interesting process to dissect the songs in a similar fashion to how an electrician might explain the wiring of a house.”
MORE ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM
More or Less is about “witnessing birth, and in some ways rebirth,” says Dan Mangan. “It’s about feeling disconnected from a popular identity and becoming acclimated to a new one. It’s about raising kids in a turbulent world. It’s about unanswerable questions and kindness and friendship and fear.”
Released on November 2 via Arts & Crafts, More or Less is an album that Mangan claims “feels more like ‘me’ than ever. More sparse. Less meticulous. More kids. Less time. More direct. Less metaphor. More discovery. Less youth. More warmth. Less chaos.”
In the years since 20 year old Dan Mangan began boxing his way into the corner of every noisy bar that would let him bring in his guitar he’s released four other albums, toured relentlessly, won a few awards, found a partner who tolerated his schedule, married that partner, then welcomed a baby into their home...which is when things changed.
“I’d been touring non-stop for six consecutive years and the phone just kept ringing, but I felt my mind and body start to fail. When we learned that we were going to have a baby, I told my manager that I wanted to take a year away from touring. I felt I’d earned it. That ‘one year’ away from the grind sort of slowly became six.”
Shortly after, they had another kid and nested. “As the fog of domestic obligations shifted, I began to regain a sense of myself as an artist. But things were different. I wasn’t a part of the new generation anymore. I knew how to keep racoons from tearing up my lawn, but not so much about youth culture. And the music industry is, uhhhh... all tied up in youth culture.”
So in writing his new album, More or Less, Mangan wrote, like every writer is taught to, about what he knows. Or rather, what he knows now. “I wrote about warmth. I wrote about the feeling of building something when I was young, and the fear of losing it as an adult. I wrote about feeling overwhelmed. I wrote about being in love with someone with whom I spend a lot of time figuring out who is more deserving of a nap. I wrote about the power of what goes unsaid. More or less, I wrote about myself.”
For More or Less, Mangan worked with “some incredible people who have made many of my favorite albums.” Grammy Award winning producer Drew Brown (Radiohead, Beck, Blonde Redhead, Charlotte Gainsbourg) brought in Joey Waronker, Jason Falkner, and Darrell Thorp. For previous singles, “Fool For Waiting” and “Troubled Mind”, Mangan enlisted producer Simone Felice (The Lumineers, Bat For Lashes) who then introduced Ryan Hewitt and Matt Johnson to the fold to play alongside longtime collaborators Gordon Grdina and John Walsh. “This team found a vibrant subtlety that helped me rethink my identity as a singer,” says Mangan. “I cannot thank them enough.”
The recording process was piecemeal over several years and full of eye-opening experiences for Mangan. “Paul McCartney even wandered into the studio as we were listening back to a take of ‘Lay Low’”, says Mangan. “We ended up scrapping what he heard, but... well... he heard something I wrote. Let that be an omen.”
More or Less follows up 2016’s EP Unmake and 2015’s collaborative art-rock album Club Meds. In 2012 Mangan won two JUNO Awards for his sophomore LP, Oh Fortune, and his 2010 debut album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice, was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize.
UK/EU TOUR DATES
Nov 7 - Berlin, DE - Festsaal Kreuzberg ^
Nov 8 - Hamburg, DE - Mojo ^
Nov 10 - Weissenhauser Strand, DE - Rolling Stone Weekender
Nov 11 - Cologne, DE - Gebaude 9 ^
Nov 12 - Brussels, BE - Botanique Rotonde ^
Nov 13 - London, UK - Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank ^
Nov 15 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Noord ^
Nov 16 - Paris, FR - Petit Bain ^
Nov 17 - Rust, DE - Europa Park - Rolling Stone Park Festival
Nov 20 - Zurich, CH - Bogen F ^
Nov 22 - Vienna, AT - Blue Bird Festival - Porgy And Bess
Nov 23 - Dornbirn, AT - Conrad Sohm ^
Nov 24 - Prague, CZ - Meet Factory ^
Nov 26 - Washington, DC - DC9 ^
Nov 27 - New York, NY - Rough Trade ^
^ With Laura Gibson
2019 CANADA/US DATES
Jan 23 - St. John’s, NL - George Street United
Jan 24 - Halifax, NS - The Marquee Club
Jan 25 - Moncton, NB - Tide & Boar Gastropub
Jan 26 - Fredericton, NB - Boyce Farmers’ Market
Jan 28 - Montreal, QC - Theatre Fairmount
Jan 29 - Ottawa, ON - Algonquin College
Jan 31 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
Feb 1 - Hamilton, ON - New Vision United
Feb 2 - Waterloo, ON - Maxwell's
Feb 4 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
Feb 5 - Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club
Feb 6 - Winnipeg, MB - Garrick Centre
Feb 7 - Saskatoon, SK - Broadway Theatre
Feb 8 - Edmonton, AB - Winspear Centre
Feb 9 - Calgary, AB - The Palace Theatre
Feb 12 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre
Feb 13 - Kelowna, BC - Kelowna Community Theatre
Feb 14 - Victoria, BC - Alix Goolden Hall