Just a few days ago we marked the 10th anniversary of Dan Mangan‘s pivotal, JUNO Award-winning album, Oh Fortune. Now, the celebrated songwriter is re-releasing the album complete with a bonus disc of ten ‘mostly’ unheard album outtakes, demos, and live versions of tracks from that era. In an essay reminiscing about the making of Oh Fortune, Mangan says:
“Four years of thought and trial-by-fire manifested in the creation of Nice, Nice, Very Nice. I’d spent that time cutting my teeth in the corners of noisy bars to people who were there for the drinks and, almost specifically, not for the music. My presence was not anticipated, but, more accurately – tolerated. Sometimes I’d had other musicians with me, but most often, I was alone. I felt like a comedian, chiseling my material in the underground. Figuring out what kept people, and what didn’t. I had to earn every perked ear. I played cafes, living rooms, back yards, sports bars – literally anywhere that would have me.”
He also recently reflected on the making of Oh Fortune with Exclaim!
“Oh Fortune was born of a different kind of storm,” continues Mangan. “Luckily, Nice, Nice, Very Nice had succeeded. Those bars became theatres, and the momentum of a burgeoning career demanded a more consistent cast of faces in the van. I knew that I had learned how to hold an audience. I knew that I had begun to unfold my mind through lyrics and melody. Oh Fortune is about changing. Shifting. Adjusting to new footholds in new sands. Finding glory in letting go. Surviving another day and being a touch stronger for it. It’s about dangling your legs for the sharks. It’s about stories to tell as we age. It’s about aching for rain. It’s about the taste of something. It’s about the veins of a leaf mirroring the rivers of its forest. It’s about flags burning together. It’s about the daylight forgiving you.”
Vinyl LPs of the Oh Fortune 10th Anniversary will be released in 2022.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.