darling one year
Daniel Gannaway's latest offering darling one year is an emotional roller coaster of intense, indie folk/rock, with the slightest hint of electronica.
Recorded in Amsterdam and London, and finished in New Zealand, darling one year comes loaded with solid lyrics, great bass playing courtesy of Michael Brennan [the Feds, and Seven Dials] and drum influence by Stan Leboy. Combine this with varied influences such as the 4AD Records stable and New Zealand's own indie rock scene, and you've got one remarkable album. Some songs start out folk and end up rocking, others just stay folk, Gannaway's acoustic guitar always constant, winding through distorted vocals, effected guitars, drums and looped sounds.
This album travels further along that path his previous album Bound and Suburban started upon.
A welcome new chapter in this talented singer songwriter's ongoing story.
Review of darling one year @ Indie-Music
Artist: Daniel Gannaway
CD: darling one year
Home: New Zealand
Style: Suburban Folkster
Quote: "Pioneering instrumentation insists on nothing but the freshest ingredients while still calling to mind the generation's pop titans."
By Genevieve Will
Daniel Gannaway's album, darling one year, feels the closest to a good trip as any I've had recently. Down to earth and laid back, it has none of the musical tension of trying too hard or the injection of false emotions. Suburban folky and bohemian chic, it ties up agreeably layered and distorted vocals into an angst-ridden, quirky pop as catchy as The Strokes but easily as mysteriously engaging as James Keenan Maynard. Infusing his genre-jumping style with a bit of electronic sound only adds to the distinctive vibe flowing throughout darling one year, and the inherently diverse nature of the album doesn't stop there. This surfer boy has managed to ride a wave deeper than most and doesn't seem to worry about finding another when this catch is over.
A natural Viagra for the sterile music environment enveloping the current scene, Gannaway's pioneering instrumentation insists on nothing but the freshest ingredients while still calling to mind the generation's pop titans like Beck's Sea Changes or perhaps a darkened Jamiroquoi. Effortless transitions from heavy to light, such as the ever so pleasant ones in "Julie," preserve quality taste of songs like a spanking new Tupperware container. Glaringly uncomplicated guitar playing positioned nearly unintelligibly over many more sheets of the same, opposite complimentary bass by Michael Brennan and some truly excellent percussion and "looping stuff" from Stan Leboy make the album a surprising delivery from a singer songwriter.
And while on the singer songwriter note, one should probably be able to sing a little; Gannaway's no exception. Lingering somewhere between Beck's sometimes dour humming and a Jeff Buckley-Daniel Lanois crooning competition, Gannaway lives up to all of his inspirations and others' with an unperturbed swaying intonation easy on any ears.
This New Zealander proves his prowess in the songwriting realm as well. Although sometimes on the dark side, he evinces no qualms about titling songs "Student Debt Sucks," and the like. The aforementioned song has a gloomier side, of course, but is not without humor. While repetition ultimately helps establish a setting for his songs, Gannaway's refrains do tend to get a little lengthy, resulting in a mildly droning end to some tracks. Still, with lines like "you say my god has treated me like a cheap one time fling," how can you resist?
Check out this fling (and he's worth more than one time).
If you need evidence that there's still a "wandering minstrel," for lack of a better term, out there in the increasingly studio-bred world of music, allow me to present Daniel Gannaway as proof that the breed's not extinct. The New Zealand-based musician logged studio time for his latest album in London, Amsterdam, and NZ itself, all while working the road as a gigging musician. What has emerged from that work is Darling One Year, a tasty masterpiece of low-key mood that picks up the best stylistic experiments of his previous album and runs with them.
Of that previous album, I remember saying that Gannaway needed someone to hit the skins for him, and indeed on this outing he's assembled a nice little group of fellow musicians to fill out the sound with some real live drums and bass. Gannaway's voice, often processed and a bit ethereal, wafts over the proceedings - if anything, the best example on Bound Of Suburban to which I could compare Darling One Year's vocals would be Achilles, where it sounded like the vocals were being driven through a flange pedal; in some cases on Darling One Year's heavier numbers, the vocals sound like they're going through a guitar distortion pedal or some similar effect, and while the effects are never out of place with the songs, every once in a while it makes it a little hard to hear what's actually being sung.
And that's really my only quibble (and it's a small one at that) with Darling One Year, because the lyrics are worth hearing - they're often pointed and topical. The title track takes a first-person view of the oscurity of being an independent musician, and there's no Bon Jovi waffle about riding a steel horse to be found here, but there's no regret or bitterness to it either. Student Debt Sucks is funny and yet has a bubbling-just-under-a-boil rant going at the same time, with a great lyrical turn of phrase in "lending you astray." Lyrically, the best song on here by miles is Chain, railing against bigotry and war and offering a philosophical comment about how every life is essentially a string of one-on-one encounters of one kind or another, any one of which could break said chain. See The Light offers a wry commentary on door-to-door evangelism (and here I thought that was a uniquely American phenomenon). And bookending things nicely, the last track, A Small Thankyou, is exactly as advertised.
Darling One Year is some excellent music that, hopefully, can get a wider audience by word-of-mouth. Daniel Gannaway's unique style of filtering folk influences through modern recording techniques makes for quite a compelling listen, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he writes some damn good songs too. I'm pretty sure I said this about his previous release too, but I'll repeat it here - if you only indulge in one independent release this year, Darling One Year would make a fine pick.
Reviewed by Earl Green
AllAboutSurf gave it a huge review:
"...each and every one of these songs I found to be a monument in itself. A perfect blend of lyrics, emotion and rhythm in each one...If your looking for some refreshing new music for the soul, I whole-heartedly recommend darling one year as a must have for your collection."
Link for the full review at AllAboutSurf:
Although this album is somewhat avante-garde, it's not in the 'huh?' kind of way that leaves you scratching your head in confusion. Falling in the category of indie folk-rock to a certain extent, this is music that carves out its own flavour, sometimes morphing genres within one song. Instrumentation centres around Gannaway's capable acoustic guitar, augmented by Mike Brennan's bass, and drums and loops by Stan Leboy providing a passing nod of acknowledgement to the grooves of electronica. Although something of an international effort [London and Amsterdam feature in the credits], Auckland's West Coast [muse of many] namely Muriwai beach gets a mention. The lyrical matter covers and array of topics, ranging from the standard relationships, to the blight of student debt in the not-at-all-enigmatically titled Student Debt Sucks. While standing proud as "truly independent music", 'Darling One Year' doesn't compromise in production quality, and what has resulted, is a well crafted album that takes some innovative and unexpected turns.
Tim Page - New Zealand Musician Magazine
Albums by kiwi [NZ] indie singer/songwriter Daniel Gannaway:
2008 - JOINED LIKE NOTES
2007 - HEADING FOR COUNTRY
2006 - OP-ED: Environmental / Social / Political
2005 - SUMMER STORM | A collection of ukulele ditties
2004 - darling one year
2002 - BOOTLEGGED AT THE 12 BAR CLUB [released 2006]
2001 - Bound and Suburban
2000 - Bootlegged at the Temple
1999 - flashback*
1998 - FINE BY ME
More truly independent releases:
2008 - ELECPHONIC: TRIPLEPHONIC
2007 - ELECPHONIC: SOPHOMOREPHONIC
2006 - ELECPHONIC: ELECPHONIC
2004 - kidameln - the kidameln lo-fi
truly independent has kidameln's debut & Daniel's first 3 albums in the CD Baby $5 Specials!
truly independent recommends a newly recovered live gem of Daniel:
BOOTLEGGED AT THE 12 BAR CLUB
[11 Songs - Solo Acoustic - London - April 2002]
Recorded live in an intimate little venue in the centre of London – the 12 Bar Club – Daniel’s vocal range and delicate guitar, sometimes complimented by harmonica, are collected surprisingly well and make for a beautifully meandering compilation.
OP-ED: Environmental / Social / Political
"Documenting many of Daniel's previously unrecorded songs of environmental, social and political importance, OP-ED is an inspired compilation of acoustic material on guitar and ukulele - all recorded in Hawaii during February of 2006."
SUMMER STORM | A collection of ukulele ditties
"Written and recorded in Hawaii and New Zealand, Summer Storm - Daniel's sixth solo outing - references laidback island life with the ukulele's nylon strings, while wrapping it up in the kind of dynamic folk/indie-rock/electronic feel..."
"...like Gannaway's home country, this music [SUMMER STORM] is an exotic, faraway place in relationship to the rest of the overall modern musical landscape. Nevertheless, these unique Gannaway sounds offer a pleasant getaway" - Indie-Music.
"...The great aspect of the album [SUMMER STORM] is that each song's arrangement maintains a minimalistic nature, which shows a discipline and a depth of understanding on Gannaway's part. Underneath the ukelele, the cruising drums and harmonic supporting bass grooves provide an all around easy and easily recommendable listen..." - NZ Musician Magazine
darling one year
"...A perfect blend of lyrics, emotion and rhythm...If your looking for some refreshing new music for the soul, I whole-heartedly recommend darling one year as a must have for your collection." - AllAboutSurf.com
"...Down to earth and laid back, it has none of the musical tension of trying too hard or the injection of false emotions. Suburban folky and bohemian chic, it [darling one year] ties up agreeably layered and distorted vocals into an angst-ridden, quirky pop as catchy as The Strokes but easily as mysteriously engaging as James Keenan Maynard..." - Indie-Music.com
Daniel's music is available from such online digital providers as: CD Baby; SNOCAP; Mp3tunes; AudioLunchbox; Apple iTunes Music Store; Rhapsody; Napster; BuyMusic; Emusic; Sony Connect...
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