Dan Mangan’s recommendation: “I know I’m not alone, but a few years ago I got horribly stung by Bon Iver. I’d played a gig with Lizzie Powell (Land of Talk) who was a dear friend of Justin Vernon’s. She wrote me down his MySpace address and I listened to “Skinny Love” – with a fresh 20,000 plays, it was the only track posted. The album, “For Emma, Forever Ago” hadn’t come out at that time, and I had to wait nearly a year for it to be available in Canada, but it quickly became imprinted in my brain. Every sound, chair squeak and layer of harmony oozed with sincerity. It was the soundtrack of a good few months, and I still return to it with equal fervor. I love the sonic quality of the album – it’s perfectly flawed, and represents the kind of maddening obsessiveness that it takes to make a truly great piece of art. I have a lot of respect for Vernon, not only in the music that he makes, but also in the type of people he seems to surround himself with, and the integrity by which he creates and supports things that affect the world positively.”
New to Bon Iver? Dan Mangan recommends you start here: “There are only two, really. For Emma, Forever Ago which is a must have, but he’s since released Blood Bank which is also brilliant. He’s appeared in other places, such as the Dark Was the Night compilation and some internet-spread tracks with people like St. Vincent. If you want to dig deeper, you can find his old bands DeYarmond Edison or Mount Vernon.”
About the guest author, Dan Mangan: Sitting proudly at the top of the ‘best damn music that your nerdy friend may not have heard of yet’ list is Dan Mangan, the superb singer-songwriter from Canada whose Nice, Nice, Very Nice album sat at #1 on the iTunes Canada singer-songwriter chart for nearly six months straight and made the long list for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize. XM Radio also named him Artist of the Year in 2009. Check his web site for dates to see his extraordinary live show.
MP3: Road Regrets by Dan Mangan