David Karsten Daniels

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David Karsten Daniels
David Karsten Daniels in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (2007)
Background information
Origin Lubbock, Texas, United States
Genres Indie rock
Indie folk
Indie pop
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Violin, Cello, Programming
Years active 2000–present
Associated acts Fight the Big Bull, Frigtened Rabbit, The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, Kapow! Music, The Physics of Meaning, Our Brother the Native, Penny and Sparrow, -topic, Lex Land, Chris Walker, Driver Friendly, The Many Hands, Matthew E. White
Website [1]

David Karsten Daniels is an American singer-songwriter with an affinity for "slow-creeping songs that, once at full power, are like nothing else".[1] His recordings are typically combinations of many styles of music sitting underneath lyrics that tend to explore life, death, family, religion, change and the natural world.

Early life[edit]

Daniels was born in Lubbock, Texas on August 20, 1979. His formative years were spent in Montgomery, Alabama, singing in school and church choirs, and studying the piano and guitar. Daniels spent two years in the American Boychoir School, an all boy's boarding school in Princeton, New Jersey where he was exposed to college level music theory and ear training. He played in jazz ensembles throughout high school in Montgomery, Alabama and Dallas, Texas. In college, David majored in music composition and played double bass in the symphony orchestra. A course in Free Improvisation taught by trombonist/improviser/lecturer Kim Corbett would prove to be major turning point in David's approach to composition.


While obtaining his bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University, through which he studied in Paris, France, as well as in Texas, David worked on the recordings that would become his first two albums, The Mayflower and Out From Under Ligne 4. Following graduation in 2001, David moved briefly to Portland, Oregon where he began work on the recordings that would become his third album, Angles. in 2002, David moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There, the Bu hanan Collective was formed by David and longtime friends and band mates Daniel Hart and Alex Lazara. In 2006, David was signed by Fat Cat Records of Brighton, England, and released his fourth album, Sharp Teeth as a co-release between Fat Cat and Bu hanan. He followed that with Fear of Flying in 2008, a meditation on death and the afterlife. His next LP, "I Mean to Live Here Still," (2010) is a song cycle using the texts of Henry David Thoreau, with Daniels' music and singing accompanied by Fight the Big Bull, a nonet from Richmond, VA led by Matthew E. White. That album, characterized by The Line of Best Fit as "brave and beautiful [...], marrying the North American folk vernacular with interesting free-jazz textures and atmospheres"[2] was called one of the "5 Best Genre Defying Albums of 2010"[3] by NPR. In 2014, Daniels created the score for S. Cagney Gentry's feature film Harvest.[4]David released his first largely instrumental album The Four Immeasurable Minds in 2015. In 2016 he released 2 records, The Teacher a lo-fi full length heavily dependent on field recordings as well as his 9th studio album Kaleidoscope, an EP released May 19th, 2016.

David has toured with Frightened Rabbit, Mice Parade, Tom Brosseau, Nina Nastasia, and Arboretum, and played shows with Animal Collective, Vashti Bunyan, Okkervil River, the Bowerbirds, the Mountain Goats, Low Barlow, Vetiver, David Bazan, Roman Candle, Richard Buckner, St. Vincent, Cass McCombs, Shearwater, Castanets, the Twilight Sad, DeYarmond Edison, and Retribution Gospel Choir.


Institution Location Dates
Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX 1997–2001
Lake Highlands High School Dallas, TX 1993–1997


Album Year Label
The Mayflower 2000 Bu_hanan
Out From Under Ligne 4 2001 Bu_hanan
Angles 2004,05 Bu_hanan
Sharp Teeth 2007 Fat Cat / Bu_hanan
Fear Of Flying 2008 Fat Cat
I Mean To Live Here Still 2010 Fat Cat
The Four Immeasurable Minds 2014 smll thngs / Carpi Records
The Teacher 2016 smll thngs
Kaleidoscope E.P. 2016 smll thngs


In 2008, Fat Cat asked Daniels to do additional recording and remix Frightened Rabbit's It's Christmas So We'll Stop.

In 2011, Daniels contributed a remix to Our Brother the Native's Rhythm Hymns.

In 2014, Daniels contributed string and horn arrangements to Penny and Sparrow's Struggle Pretty.

Sharp Teeth Musicians[edit]

David Karsten Daniels - Organ, Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Piano, Cello, Drums, Glockenspiel, Guitar (Electric), Tambourine, Vocals
Aimee Argote - Vocals
Aaron Bratcher - Trombone (Bass), Trombone (Tenor)
Dane Daniels - Drums, Tambourine, Vocals
Daniel Hart - Violin, Viola
Eric Haugen - Guitar (Electric)
Alex Lazara - Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Vocals, Engineer, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes
Sara Morris - Organ, Cello, Vocals
Zac Petersen - Trumpet
Tim Phillips - Trumpet
John Ribo - Guitar (Electric), Vocals
Jason Sayers - Trombone (Tenor)
Joshua Snyder - Drums
Mara Thomas - Vocals
Erin Wright - Vocals
Perry Wright - Tambourine, Vocals
Joseph P. Zoller - Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)

Fear of Flying Musicians[edit]

David Karsten Daniels - Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Drums, Keyboards, Programming, Vocals, Engineer, Mixing
Daniel Hart - Violin
Sara Morris - Vocals
John Ribo - Vocals
Wendy Spitzer - Oboe
Dylan Thurston - Drums
Perry Wright - Vocals, Handclaps

I Mean To Live Here Still Musicians[edit]

David Karsten Daniels - vocals, acoustic guitar
Bob Miller - trumpet, piccolo trumpet
Jason Scott - clarinet, flute, saxophone
John Lilley - saxophone, clarinet
Reggie Pace - trombone, tuba, claps
Bryan Hooten - trombone
Cameron Ralston - upright bass
Matthew E. White - horn arrangements, electric guitar
Pinson Chanselle - drums
Brian Jones - percussion
Gabe Churray - synthesizer
Alex Lazara - organ, mellotron
Trey Pollard - pedal steel
Eddie Prendergast - electric bass
Toby Whitaker - trombone
Perry Wright - bass voice

The Four Immeasurable Minds Musicians[edit]

David Karsten Daniels - Guitar (Electric), Recorder, Keyboards, Vocals
K. - Vocals

Kaleidoscope Musicians[edit]

David Karsten Daniels - vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, drums, keys, programming, violin
Chris Walker - drums, percussion, guitar, drums, keys, programming, violin, vocals
Dane Daniels - drums, percussion, vocals
Abbey Daniels - vocals, bass
Kyle Henson - drums, percussion,vocals
Ben Jousan - guitar, vocals
Lex Land - vocals
-topic - vocals
K8 - vocals
K. - vocals
Dashon Moore-Guidry - additional percussion
Juan Lopez - handclaps, vocals
Aaron Carpenter - handclaps

Works in Radio, Film and TV[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Whibbs, Chris. "David Karsten Daniels Sharp Teeth". Exclaim. Retrieved 28 February 2007. 
  2. ^ HADDRILL, MATTHEW (12 July 2010). "David Karsten Daniels & Fight The Big Bull – I Mean To Live Here Still". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Schaefer, John (December 8, 2010). "The 5 Best Genre-Defying Albums Of 2010". NPR. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ Gentry, S. Cagney. "director". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 20 February 2014.