Dan Mangan: Oh Fortune – review

(City Slang)

If you're going to connect with people, Dan Mangan wrote in the Guardian last week, "you have to get vulnerable". Sure enough, the Canadian's third album is a record to turn to in moments of irresolution, not because it provides any answers, but because Mangan seems to be asking the same questions. "What happens when all flags burn together?" he wonders in Jeopardy, over lilting guitar and cheerful trumpets. "Is that unity? Is it meaningful to be angry? Who's angry? Are you angry? What is angry?" He can switch from personal to political in a flicker, and the knotty orchestrations of his backing band – chiefly comprising improv jazzers – share that fleetness of expression. In How Darwinian, Mangan mourns that "people don't know what they want, they just know they really want it" over a static electronic burr – and just as he adds, "I should know better by now", guitars silence the buzz with melodies so friendly they glow.


Maddy Costa

The GuardianTramp

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