Next Monday, October 26th, we’ll be premiering Danielson’s Weathervane Music Project, “Moment Soakers” on our Projects page! This is the last release of the 2009 season, and we’re very proud of this final installment.
It’s not often that a senior thesis turns into a music career, but for South Jersey’s Daniel Smith, that’s exactly how it all began. The eldest sibling of five, Smith experienced a revelation in his final year of art school: that his family was an incredible blessing, and that he needed to sing about and with them. Over the course of the next 15 years, Danielson has evolved as a collaborative project between Smith, his family, and many friends – including Sufjan Stevens, Deerhoof, and Why? – and has earned a cult-like following for its experimental style and the unabashed celebration of life in its songs.
Beginning with 1995’s A Prayer for Every Hour, Danielson has released seven full-length albums and a slew of 7”s and vinyl pressings, but it’s perhaps his latest two – 2006’s Ships and 2008’s Trying Harts – that best personify the project’s ethos. Ships, hailed by critics as “a superdense wall of beautifully ramshackle orchestration” (from Pitchfork, who gave the album a rare 9.1 rating), is the culmination of over a decade’s worth of work. The album is a kaleidoscope of musical images that shatter notions of traditional song structure, and without fear embrace the Christian faith that ties the Danielson family together (though in perhaps untraditional ways). Trying Harts, in contrast, is a collection of the music that brought them to Ships, and celebrates the music’s evolution since Smith’s senior thesis back in 1994. And if one thing is decidedly clear from these two albums – and from Smith’s entire body of work – it’s this: his music is about celebrating the beauty of life and the relationships between family and friends. It’s all joy.
It’s not exactly a shock, then, that such a loyal group of fans has gravitated towards Danielson. This music is about community, after all, and it’s hard to resist one so full of gleeful exuberance. Those who have had the pleasure of seeing them perform live will have noticed their onstage garb: matching white nurses’ uniforms, with red hearts stitched into the sleeves. Listening to Danielson is a healing experience, and the nurses are here to deliver that healing power.
“Moment Soakers” will be released for purchase through Sounds Familyre records as the A-side of a 7-inch (and later through iTunes), but you’ll be able to stream the song on our site through Apollo Audio. The video from Danielson’s session and the stream will both go live Monday morning, so come check it out then!
Danielson will also be with us for our First Annual Concert Fundraiser - November 12th at Johnny Brenda’s - along with the rest of the 2009 Project Series artists. You won’t want to miss it! You can get tickets here or by donating to our Kickstarter campaign.3 years ago