& The Coastguards (ENG)
It was 2001 and Englishman Dan Michelson was hanging in Reykjavik, preparing for the finals of his fine arts education and contemplating what to do with some demos he had put together. After returning to London, he rented a former Jewish tearoom doubling as a theatre and got serious about the songs he had written so far and the ones he still needed to write to keep things floating forward. The yield of that labor became apparent in 2005 when he recorded the songs with his first band, Absentee. By 2009, two more albums followed in the genre of alt country that was generously touched by rock. Then Absentee went absent for good, however, enter the sound architect Valgier Sigurdsson, who produced for Bjork, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Kronos Quartet, Sigur Ros and who’s influence proved to be pivotal.
Out of that fateful collaboration with the Icelander came the formation of Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards which blew fresh wind into the sails of the stagnant ship M.S.Michaelson. The journey could continue, it led to the great «Saltwater» (2009) in which you can hear influences as varied as that of Leonard Cohen, Etta James, Johnny Cash and Dusty Springfield. 2011 saw «Sudden Fiction», 2013 was the year of «Blind Spot» and the material from it allowed him to support the wonderful Beth Orton on her tour. Now he was navigating newly strong and favorable winds towards his latest, the studio album «Distance». Recorded with the band of which he said «I couldn’t think of six men I’d rather be locked in a room with.» It’s bittersweet and bluesy, tender and funny work with melancholic yarns like Evening Light and other fine pieces like Burning Hearts, Getting It All Wrong and Your Beauty Still Rules. Go the distance, cross the bridge.