Dan Mangan

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Dan Mangan
Dan Mangan in Charlottetown.jpg
Mangan performing in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in October 2009.
Background information
Birth name Daniel Mangan
Born (1983-04-28) April 28, 1983 (age 32)
Smithers, British Columbia, Canada
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Folk, Singer-Songwriter[1]
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards
Years active 2003–present
Labels Arts & Crafts, FUM, ABC/Warner
Website www.danmanganmusic.com

Daniel Mangan (born April 28, 1983) is a Vancouver-based, two time JUNO Award winning Canadian musician. He has also been a contributing writer for The Guardian's Arts section and Huffington Post Canada. He is married to actor and theatre artist Kirsten Slenning; with whom he has one son, Jude.

Early life[edit]

Dan Mangan's family moved often, residing in both the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, but primarily in his current home town of Vancouver. Raised in a household where instruments were always available, music became an obvious pastime for Mangan and his two siblings. He was influenced by his parents' record collection, especially the music of Nick Drake and The Beatles.[1] At sixteen, Mangan started a band called Basement Suite with some classmates and played gigs at local community centres. Though his family had returned to Vancouver by age two, he was born in Smithers, British Columbia.[2]

Mangan studied at the University of British Columbia.[3]

Recording career[edit]

Dan Mangan performing at the 2009 Vancouver Folk Festival.

In 2003, at 20 years old, Mangan completed his first set of recordings: an EP of simply recorded acoustic songs called All at Once. Five hundred copies were pressed and sold or given away throughout the Vancouver area while Mangan was attending the University of British Columbia.[4] With a bank loan and a small community of musicians who would offer cheap or free sessions, Mangan recorded Postcards & Daydreaming in the summer of 2005 with local British ex-pat Daniel Elmes and good friend Simon Kelly. Mangan released the album independently at first, selling the album online and at live shows. In July 2007, Vancouver-based independent record label File Under: Music picked up the LP and re-released the album with new artwork and an extra track, "Ash Babe". The following March, the record was released in Australia by ABC/Warner.

In March 2009, File Under: Music released another short-play recording called Roboteering EP, containing songs from Mangan's forthcoming album Nice, Nice, Very Nice.[5] The album was recorded in Toronto at Green Door Studios with producer John Critchley, and featured an assortment of other Canadian artists such as Veda Hille, Justin Rutledge, Mark Berube, Hannah Georgas and members of Said The Whale, Major Maker, and Elliott Brood. Five months later, Nice, Nice, Very Nice was released in Canada. After years of steady touring, and with his second full-length release, Mangan was starting to get noticed across his home country. The first two singles from his second full-length, "Robots" and "Road Regrets" earned airplay on local Vancouver radio stations, as well as on satellite radio stations such as The Verge and CBC Radio 3. The album name was inspired by a line from American novelist Kurt Vonnegut's book Cat's Cradle, while musically Nice, Nice, Very Nice has been compared to Chad VanGaalen and Bon Iver.

In September 2009, Mangan was awarded "Artist of the Year" at the Verge Music Awards.[6] In 2010, Nice, Nice, Very Nice was licensed and released by Toronto based independent record label Arts & Crafts in Europe and the United States. In September 2010, the album was shortlisted by a jury of 200 Canadian journalists, music critics and media personnel for the Polaris Music Prize, which seeks to award the "best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label". Other shortlisted nominees included Karkwa (winner of the prize), Broken Social Scene, Caribou, Owen Pallett, The Besnard Lakes, Tegan and Sara, Shad, The Sadies and Radio Radio. Nice, Nice, Very Nice was also awarded "iTunes Album Of The Year" for the Singer/Songwriter category and won three Western Canadian Music Awards for "Independent Album Of The Year", "Roots/Solo Album Of The Year" and "Songwriter Of The Year". "Robots" was named "Best Song" by the CBC Radio 3 BUCKY Awards.

After years of touring alone, and with the newfound success of Nice, Nice, Very Nice, Mangan began touring with a band. Throughout 2010 and 2011, he began collaborating with musicians from Vancouver's vibrant experimental music scene. Enlisting drummer Kenton Loewen (Mother Mother, Submission Hold, Gord Grdina Trio), bassist John Walsh (Brasstronaut) and guitarist Gord Grdina (Gord Grdina Trio, Haram, East Van Strings) opened up relationships with other members of the city's avant-garde free-jazz community. As the ensemble worked toward a third LP, they began collaborating and touring with a large group of musicians who would sub in and out of the band including trumpeter JP Carter (Fond of Tigers, Destroyer), violinist Jesse Zubot (Fond of Tigers, Hawksley Workman, Tanya Tagaq), pianist Tyson Naylor and cellist Peggy Lee (Mary Margaret O'Hara, Wayne Horvitz, Veda Hille). Mangan asked Seattle's Eyvind Kang (Bill Frisell, Beck, Laurie Anderson) to write orchestral arrangements for the forthcoming recordings.

The new sonic landing pad for Mangan's songs influenced him in new directions and eventually set the tone for his third long-play, Oh Fortune. Recorded over six months throughout the 2010-11 winter with producer Colin Stewart, the band recorded in short spurts at The Hive Creative Labs between tours and at Mangan's own home, coined "National Park Studios", to bring about Mangan's most expansive and experimental album to date.

Oh Fortune was released in September, 2011 in North America by Arts & Crafts, with releases in the following months in Europe by City Slang and in Australia via ABC. The album received extensive critical acclaim internationally and demonstrated the beginning of a new era in Mangan's musical career. He had stepped away from the "singer/songwriter" roots he had come from in search of more experimental pastures.

In November 2011, Mangan was the subject of the CBC documentary What Happens Next?, directed and produced by Brent Hodge and Jon Siddall.[7] It follows Mangan in the lead up to his sold out show at the Orpheum theater in Vancouver.

At the 2012 Juno Awards, Mangan was awarded New Artist of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year for Oh Fortune, and was also nominated for Songwriter of the Year for "About as Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help at All", "Post-War Blues" and "Oh Fortune" and Video of the Year for the music video for "Rows of Houses", directed by Jon Busby.[8]

Oh Fortune was also long-listed for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize and received three Western Canadian Music Awards for "Rock Album of the Year", "Independent Album of the Year", and "Songwriter of the Year". To boot, "Rows of Houses" was named "Best Song" by the CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards. Mangan has won six Buckys to date, the most winning artist in the award's history, and is the only artist to win "Best Song" more than once.

At the 2013 Calgary X-Fest, Mangan announced that "this is the last show of the 2013 tour" and that he and his band would be returning to the studio to begin recording his next album. The album, Club Meds, was released in 2015 and credited for the first time to Dan Mangan + Blacksmith.

He garnered two Canadian Screen Awards at the 3rd Canadian Screen Awards, in the categories of Best Original Score for his work with Jesse Zubot on the soundtrack to the film Hector and the Search for Happiness, and Best Original Song for "Wants", a song he contributed to the film The Valley Below.


With various collections of musicians, Mangan has toured extensively throughout Europe, North America and Australia. They've shared stages with Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Walkmen, Japandroids, Jeff Mangum, Lucinda Williams, Broken Social Scene, Tune-Yards, Cake, Metric, The Decemberists, Julian Casablancas, Timber Timbre, Sarah Harmer, The Broken Family Band, Elliott Brood, The Acorn, Alison Krauss, Howe Gelb, Jackson Browne, Bowerbirds, The head and the heart, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Blind Pilot, Patrick Watson, Jenn Grant, Brett Dennen, KD Lang, Mother Mother, Great Lake Swimmers, Basia Bulat, Veda Hille, Hannah Georgas, Charlie Parr, Bear's Den, Hey Rosetta!, The Shins, Sam Roberts Band, Jason Collett, Zeus, Macklemore, Vampire Weekend, City & Colour, Yukon Blonde, Sondre Lerche, Warpaint, Other Lives, Suuns, Spoon, Tegan and Sara, Lucius.[9]

An additional touring highlight was performing for Prince William and Duchess Kate on Parliament Hill, Canada Day 2011.

Mangan has been invited to perform at many international music festivals including:



Year Album details
2003 All At Once
2009 Roboteering
  • Label: File Under: Music
  • Format: EP, digital download
2012 Radicals


Year Album details
2005 Postcards & Daydreaming
  • Label: File Under: Music, ABC/Warner
  • Format: LP, CD, digital download
  • Re-released in 2007
2009 Nice, Nice, Very Nice
  • Label: Arts & Crafts, File Under: Music, ABC/Universal
  • Format: LP, CD, digital download
2011 Oh Fortune
2015 Club Meds (credited as Dan Mangan + Blacksmith)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Leahey, Andrew. "Dan Mangan: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ Vincent Jones (2012-07-16). "Dan Mangan Interview - Keloha, 2012". Hear in Kelowna. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  3. ^ Samuels, Lucas (November 30, 2011). "Dan Mangan’s eight-song mixtape for ArtistMixtapes.com". Chart. Retrieved April 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ "In the News: Dan Mangan Claims Two Juno Awards". Phi Gamma Delta. April 2, 2012. Archived from the original on April 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ Mack, Adrian (March 12, 2009). "Dan Mangan", The Georgia Straight. Retrieved on 2009-05-22.
  6. ^ Miller, Aaron (September 23, 2009). "Dan Mangan, Alexisonfire Victorious at XM Verge Music Awards". CityNews. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Artist summary: Dan Mangan". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ Kate Harper (2009-02-18). "Dan Mangan Does the Robot". Chart. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 

External links[edit]