Daniel Norgren – Wooh Dang

daniel-norgren-wooh-dangHot damn! This album is good. Every. Fucking. Track. Bangs.

Leave it to a Swede to make some of the greatest southern Americana I’ve heard in fucking years. But it make sense. Take Music From the Big Pink or Astral Weeks, The Band and Van Morrison weren’t American. Thems Canadian and Irish folk. And, let’s be real, if you were to boil down modern America’s essence into a concentrated form and turn that shit into sound, it wouldn’t just be composed of these angelic throat-rattling cries to heaven with a cluster-chorded antique upright piano that reminds you of slow-cooked stew and fishing in the creek. That’s a dream America sells to the rest of the world. The actual modern America is to vast to make one singular sound. Parts of it are scary, loud, and depressing as fuck. Parts of it chew with its mouth open, wears oversized mickey mouse t-shirts, and yells orders twice as loud when the waiter’s English has a tinge of accent. There’s as much of this America in Americana as there is Atlantis.

These heartfelt and experimental songs were put on to analogue tape because that’s what the most romantic of motherfuckers do. They were written in Daniel’s wood-surrounded home in Western Sweden and recorded inside a 19-century farmhouse. If that’s not Americana, I’ll eat my cowboy hat while riding a horse. You can feel this bucolic essence in this music. It feels like you could open a screen door, just off to your right, and hear the sound of crickets and bullfrogs off in the distance. That’s not to say that this entire album is straitlaced acoustic jams. Dude uses electronics on this shit so organically it’s like he frequently uses a smartphone to dig up his weeds.

Daniel loves him that Americana. Shit’s so thick it oozes. But he doesn’t copy the masters, which I’m sure he could have. Daniel has a completely unique and individual sound. And that’s what you’re listening for. The lyrics talk about trains, travelling, and John Wayne. The bottom bitch formula of Americana jams. But the ambiance of this album has the ability to transport you to otherworldly and spiritual realms. This album doesn’t take you to America, it takes you to America. The same place Bob Dylan pretended to be from when he sang out his folk songs. That mystical and fictional place of history and legend. A place made of good morals, moonshine, and the joy after an honest day’s work. A place that isn’t a place at all, but a feeling. You love it while you’re there. You never want to leave. But you forget all the details once your head rises from the pillow. This is where Daniel Norgren lives. He runs a county that’s close to Creedence Clearwaterton, before Lucinda Williams Run, beside Harvest Moon Peak, and just past the second star to the right and straight on till morning.



 

 

 

 

2 thoughts

  1. Well, you’ve sold me on international Americana (and god, let’s talk about Van Morrison sometime – when you next take a week off, I know you’ve got a rule against over-exposed albums, but I have so much to say about Astral Weeks that fits into everything you champion about music on your blog, and I’d love to write it out for you), but I’m not sure you got round to selling me on the album?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Astral Weeks is one of those perfect albums. At any moment in time I could close my eyes, press play in my head, and hear that open rhythm guitar and plucky bass lead into that strange acoustic solo. Next time I got time off I’d love to hear your thoughts on it you audiophiliac motherfucker.

      Like

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