The last time Dan Florio released a new album, Washington State was in the midst of a dreary rainy season. Darkness. Cold. Wet. 2014. Here we are in 2018 with Dan’s latest EP and this rainy season has been eating at my soul in a season full of life changes. Changes and routines – the only constants in life. It was an unexpected note from Mr. Florio himself that alerted me to his new music, and I’ve had this EP on repeat ever since. A Day Wiser finds Dan returning the sparser instrumentation of his debut EP. It is a stark reminder of the strength of his tunes and a welcome return. He is assisted by John O’Reilly Jr. on drums and percussion along with Caitlin Mahoney on backing vocals on a track.
Coming My Way opens the EP on a strong note – emotive vocals, melodic guitar – no hints of sadness. The feeling of nostalgia is heavy, the longing in Florio’s voice clear. This wouldn’t sound out of place on a release by The Band in the 70’s. Dream of Mine is the track featuring Caitlin Mahoney on backing vocals and is a melancholy acoustic lament. Young Traveler has a bit of a groove to it – the track on the release that has fullest instrumentation. “I worried for no reason at all / but now i’m feeling free”. My favorite song is the last one. White Tailed Hare is an evocative pastoral work out that evokes imagery straight out of Watership Down. “there’s a white-tailed hare with a heart of a bear”. A stunning end to this short but impactful release.
You can pick up the EP here as a “pay what you want” model. It comes highly recommended.
Verdict: Warmth in Winter
For Fans of: Mojave 3, Sixth Great Lake, The Band, Neil Young, Neil Drake
- Coming My Way
- Dream of Mine
- Young Traveler
- White Tailed Hare
Another year gone by, another year in music to review. For me personally, it was a strange year in music. I found myself listening to unsigned / self released artists more often than some of the mainstream artists that I love so much. 2 Neil Young records – the 1st was good, if not great. The 2nd was a little too lush for my tastes. Neither appear on my year-end round-up. I looked forward to the new John Mellencamp (yes, seriously) but I came away only loving about half the record. Bruce Springsteen added Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine to his band and the record he released didn’t disappoint me. I managed to get out to a few shows in 2014 and was blown away by Mudhoney (twice) and First Aid Kit. Speaking of First Aid Kit, their Stay Gold record grew in stature with repeated listens and should help them become a household name. So without further rambling, here are the records that I played the most in 2014. Note: these are listed randomly and I chose to focus on full length releases that were released in 2014.
The darkness set in around 7:45 last night – the Fall is relentless in its approach this time of year. Rather than lament the summer now gone, it is time to start thinking about bonfires, pumpkin beer, and flannels (I’m in the Seattle area, after all). The perfect complement to those mandatory Autumnal delights is music that revels in the spirit of the season. Some of my fondest memories involve sitting around a fire, listening to friends play songs by The Smiths, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and whatever other tunes are easy to sing along to. Each Fall brings some variation of this bit of nostalgic story telling, but what can I say? A good time was had by all. Records that evoke those feelings can be hard to come by – if an artist tries too hard, it can sound a little too earnest. Off the cuff recordings bring the opposite problem – it can sound a little ragged. Malleability is the new record from Connecticut based indie artist Dan Florio, and it delivers a strong set of tunes in an Autumnal spirit.
In Washington State the Autumnal rainy season strikes almost immediately, summer becoming a distant memory overnight. The summer just passed becomes a topic approached in waves of nostalgia as kids bury their noses in homework and the big people go about their big people business. Those busy Fall days need a perfect soundtrack, and I usually reach for a Neil Young inspired, folk tinged kind of record. Last year my soundtrack was a mix of Neil Young himself, Honeychurch, Heyward Howkins, and Neil Halstead. This year I’ve been reaching for the debut EP from Dan Florio.