Daniel Mangan (born April 28, 1983) is a Canadian indie folk-rock singer-songwriter.
Mangan was born in Smithers, British Columbia. His family moved a fair amount, residing in both the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia - and 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. At sixteen, he started a band called Basement Suite with some fellow classmates and played gigs at local community centres.
In 2003, at 20 years old, Mangan completed his first set of recordings: an EP of simply recorded acoustic songs called All at Once, pressing 500 copies which were given away and sold throughout the Vancouver area while attending the University of British Columbia. 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. The album was recorded in Toronto, Ontario, 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" from the Verge Music Awards which sent a surge of attention and press his way. In 2010, Nice, Nice, Very Nice was licensed and released by Toronto based independent record label Arts & Crafts in Europe and the United States, garnering a larger international presence for Mangan's music. 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.
Mangan and his band have been recording with Vancouver based producer/engineer Colin Stewart, working toward a third full-length album. On May 28, 2011, Mangan officially announced the title of the new album as being Oh Fortune to his audience at the Sasquatch! Music Festival. He has been playing several songs from the forthcoming album live, including the title track, "Post-War Blues" and "Rows of Houses," which was inspired by the film Stand By Me.
On July 4, 2011, the artwork for Oh Fortune was revealed, along with a free download of the title track, on Mangan's official website. The album was released on September 27 in North America.
Dan Mangan was nominated for the 2012 Junos in four categories: new artist of the year, songwriter of the year, alternative album of the year, and video of the year. Mangan won new artist of the year and alternative album of the year.
After years of touring solo internationally, Mangan now generally tours with a band - made up from a collection of musicians in Vancouver and Toronto including guitarist Gord Grdina (Gord Grdina Trio), drummer Kenton Loewen (The Crackling), bassists John Walsh (Brasstronaut) and Colin Cowan (Analog Bell Service) and brass players Shaun Brodie (The Hidden Cameras), Bryden Baird (Feist), and JP Carter (Fond of Tigers). He has also toured with Australian musicians Cameron Potts and Lee Carey, playing lead guitar and drums respectively, both from Sydney band Dead Letter Chorus. Victoria, BC artist, Aidan Knight also has appeared as Mangan's guitarist in the past.
The band often plays in Canada, USA, Europe and Australia - and has shared stages with a wide array of artists such as The Walkmen, Japandroids, Broken Social Scene, Holy Fuck, Julian Casablancas, Timber Timbre, Sarah Harmer, The Broken Family Band, Elliott Brood, The Acorn, Patrick Watson, Jenn Grant, Brett Dennen, Mother Mother, Geoff Berner, Great Lake Swimmers, Basia Bulat, Veda Hille, Hannah Georgas, Charlie Parr and Hey Rosetta!.
Mangan has been invited to perform at many international music festivals including:
UK: Glastonbury (2010 "John Peel Stage", 2011 "Other Stage"), End Of The Road Festival (2011),
Australia: Woodford Folk Festival (2010), East Coast Blues and Roots (2008), and Peats Ridge (2009, 2010),
Canada: Halifax Pop Explosion (2009,)Vancouver Folk Music Festival (2009,) Dawson City Music Festival (2010,) Calgary Folk Festival (2010,) Mariposa Folk Festival (2010,) Winnipeg Folk Festival (2011,) Regina Folk Festival (2011,) Home County Folk Festival (2011,) Hillside Festival (2011,) Halifax Pop Explosion (2011),
USA: Sasquatch! Festival (2011), Rocky Mt. Folks Festival (2011),
Germany: Reeperbahnfestival (2010), Orange Blossom Special (2011), Haldern Pop (2011)