Photo by Norman Wong
When Dan Mangan stopped by Studio 1A last year with his band Blacksmith, it was pretty obvious that he was done with following a straight line. The Canadian singer-songwriter earned two Juno Awards for his 2012 album Oh Fortune, but instead of capitalizing on the success, he took time off to regroup. He had a child, focused on his family, and starting experimenting with his straightforward sound–is there a more interesting way to get from A to B?
Mangan answered that question by looking outside his circle for different musicians, pulling in members from Vancouver’s jazz and experimental scenes. Blacksmith was born, and true to its name, the band helped him forge a new sound. The songs soon became fluid, moving between loop-based passages before delivering a big hook. Club Meds, out January 13, is full of these juxtapositions, all of which were on display in our Studio 1A. Mangan stopped by with a stripped-down version of Blacksmith–Kenton Loewen on drums and JP Carter on trumpet–but their version of “Vessel” was just as booming and interesting as the original. Watch and download the performance below.