OP-ED: Environmental / Social / Political
Documenting many of Daniel's previously unrecorded songs of environmental, social and political importance, and re-interpreting others, OP-ED is an inspired compilation of acoustic material on guitar and ukulele which was recorded in Hawaii during February of 2006.
Since the release of FINE BY ME in 1998, Daniel has been a strident proponent of independent music – following this with five further albums, as well as a group effort with Kidameln in 2004 to create 'the kidameln lo-fi'.
As time and albums have passed, Daniel’s music has stylistically ebbed and flowed – at one point pared back and raw, at another full-bodied and polished, but at all times potent and inspired. Bound and Suburban in 2001, for example, was a composition of stories and recollections which provided a beautiful counterpoint to the poignant simplicity of Bootlegged at the Temple, recorded the previous year.
Daniel’s 2004 release – darling one year – was perhaps his most musically confident effort, traversing a broad range of personal experiences and heart-felt issues, wrapped in some truly quixotic melodies. 2005’s SUMMER STORM | a collection of ukulele ditties, on the other hand, was a wonderfully light composition which often belied the intensity of the lyrical content.
Emanating from these contrasts, OP-ED sits comfortably in the Truly Independent discography. The album is composed of 13 tracks which reflect upon precipitous issues and events faced by various countries and governments since 2000.
For example, the lead track – A Flower Down The Barrel Of A Gun – was inspired by the post-9/11 warmongering of US President George W Bush and written in support of the Global Candlelight Vigil for Peace – a public reaction against the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Track three – Dividing You – attempts to highlight the ever-diminishing value of human life in the modern era by examining a 2001 crisis in Australia when the Norwegian cargo ship Tampa rescued 438 Afghan refugees from a sinking Indonesian ferry and was then denied permission to disembark the weary travellers on Australian soil at Christmas Island.
The album’s closing track, Waterfall Wahine [Waimea Valley] tells of a Honolulu City Council proposal to subdivide and sell a large portion of Waimea Valley on Oahu's North Shore (just along from Sharks Cove). A huge visitor attraction and home to world-famous botanical collections and a large number of archaeologically significant sites, the valley is of huge cultural value to both the native Hawaiian people and the North Shore community. Through Waterfall Wahine, Daniel sought to speak out against shameless profiteering of developers and custodians of public lands.
Daniel Gannaway’s OP-ED: Environmental / Social / Political is an inspiring and poignant examination of the life we lead in this ‘new millennium’ – a life fraught with compromise, greed and stark contrasts between right and wrong. OP-ED, however, is also an exercise in hope: hope in the individual’s ability to affect change and in the capacity of collective action to create a better world.
Reviews: Daniel Gannaway ~ OP-ED: Environmental / Social / Political
Posted on Saturday, June 03, 2006 @ 04:18:25 EST
Artist: Daniel Gannaway
CD: OP-ED: Environmental / Social / Political
Home: San Francisco, California
Style: Political Folk
Quote: "Perhaps politics might actually catch on if Gannaway were doing the singing, instead of John Ashcroft's barbershop quartet."
By Todd Beemis
The aptly titled Op-Ed by Daniel Gannaway is a baker's dozen of quietly heartfelt, earnest and musically accomplished screeds against ecologically damaging development, war, coastline preservation and New Zealand's student loan program, to name but a few of the topics.
Unlike some bald-faced political albums however, Gannaway matches political passion with folk-pop chops and a voice that I could listen to singing the phone book. Like Paul Weller's Style Council, Gannaway uses the clever approach of hooky music to sugarcoat the impatient pill of his call-to-action lyrics.
Recorded in Hawaii, some of the instruments reflect a tropical influence. The strummy ukeleles of "A Just Senator" could be heard at any tourist-trap luau on the Big Island, but they accompany a thoughtful j'accuse of hawkish politicians.
Thankfully, Gannaway lets a spare arrangement and his own mellifluous voice carry the record, never resorting to bombast or cereal filler "big" sounds designed to pander to an MTV ear.
Perhaps politics might actually catch on if Gannaway were doing the singing, instead of John Ashcroft's barbershop quartet. It's a thought. But until the Republican or Democratic National Convention is converted into a Broadway musical, we'll have to make do with Daniel. And that's going to be just fine for fans of indie folk pop with a message.
Sitting somewhat to the left of the political spectrum, Daniel Gannaway's songs examine current environmental, social and political events as they apply on bth a global and more personal level. Even though the songs are placed in stripped down acoustic settings with just guitar, voice and harmonica, this is not really the music of a protesting folkie. More the explorations and observations of life in a new century and how, for Gannaway especially, things could be different. It's a straight up and down approach that leaves little for interpretation and places the songs in a definite time and space with references to 9/11, the Tampa refugees and local environmental issues. There's enough of an edge in his performances to keep this album from being just another strum along acoustic folk record, although with the recording done in Hawaii it's no surprise a laid back surfer vibe surfaces now and then. Maybe Gannaway's next album will contain the answers to the many questions raised.
Tim Page - NZ 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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