Tuesday, August 19, 2014
REVIEW: Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards - Distance
For this album, crafted in the aftermath of his divorce, Dan is exploring loss, heartache and related issues of physical and emotional distance. There are emotional pleas such as "come on home I want you, come on home I need you" in "Bones", swathed in minor keys. But hope, resilience and, most refreshingly, an absence of self-pity ultimately make this album a triumph of the spirit rather than a funereal dirge. And while Dan and the Coastguards (I love that name) are in fine form musically, the real stars are Dan's unaffected delivery and the quality of his lyrics. Happily, the production allows both to shine. In eight tracks over thirty minutes, the first glance could suggest that this album is quiet and slight. But my take is that Distance is proof that the true measure of a set of songs isn't in the decibels or running time, but rather in the power of the words and the conviction of the performance.
Here is the more upbeat showcase track "Burning Hearts" --
In addition to Dan, Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards are Laurie Earle, Horse, Henry Spenner, Gabriel Stebbing, Romeo Stodart and Johnny Flynn. Distance is out now via London label The State51 Conspiracy.
The State51 Conspiracy