Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards will release their new album 'Distance' through State 51 on 18th August. Produced and mixed by Ash Workman (Metronomy, Big Deal, Summer Camp), the album was written in Montauk, Long Island NY (the setting for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), recorded in Hackney, London and is the follow-up to last year's much-lauded 'Blindspot'.
Progressing from the minimal atmosphere of his previous album, Dan Michaelson returns to a full-band sound. "I asked Ash to record and mix the album. He'd just finished the sessions for Metronomy's 'Love Letters' and we'd been threatening to work together for ages. I had all the songs and phoned the greatest musicians I know and asked them if they would come play. They asked 'can we hear the songs?' I said 'no'. They said 'great, when do we start?" Joining Michaelson (vocal and guitar) in the studio were Magic Number Romeo Stodart (bass), Henry Spenner (drums), Laurie Earle (guitar and piano), Horse (guitar and pedal steel), Gabriel Stebbing (cello) and Johnny Flynn (violin).
The first single taken from the record is what Dan himself describes as 'misleadingly upbeat' 'Burning Hearts', the romantic tale of two lovers dancing their way towards the end of the world, out next week. The single has already been
3. Burning Hearts
4. Every Step
5. Getting it all Wrong
6. Evening Light
7. Your Beauty Still Rules
Michaelson's musical career began in 2003 when he formed Absentee. The band's debut album 'Donkey Stock' (2005) enjoyed widespread critical-acclaim with NME declaring, "better than any album released in ages" and giving it a 9/10 rating. Absentee's follow-up 'Schmotime' came out a year later to similar fanfare. The third and final album 'Victory Shorts' signified an end to both the band and also silly album titles in general.
Michaelson's debut solo album 'Saltwater' (2009), recorded with Valgeir Sigurdsson (Bjork/Bonnie Prince Billy), was well-received and featured in Rough Trade's Albums of the Year. The follow-up 'Shakes' came out a year later and showcased a thirtysomething Englishman's take on soul music. 2011's 'Sudden Fiction' was a super stripped back record, inspired by the Texan desert town of Marfa. Oddly, the album became very popular with TV series about troubled teenagers, with songs featuring on shows like MTV's Teenwolf and Channel 4's Misfits. The record featured in both Mojo and Rough Trade's Albums of the Year.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.