Dan Michaelson – Colourfield III (Spotify)

Opening with deep tonal rumbles flooded with cavernous French Horn, 'Colourfield III' is the last track to be taken from Dan Michaelson's acclaimed new album. At just over 3 minutes, it is by far the most compact of his tracks, condensing many of the album's core ideals into one simple message. Featuring a full orchestral compliment, heavy swells of piano envelop strings in waves of bass before they reemerge in one of Colourfield's most optimistic and uplifting moments.

Dan Michaelson's new album 'Colourfield' is out now on Village Green Recordings. Drawing inspiration from all corners of his record collection, including John Luther Adams, Spiritualized, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Mogwai and Gavin Bryers, 'Colourfield' is Dan Michaelson's first full-length release as an instrumental artist as well as his debut for the contemporary music label.

On making the decision to step back from singing and lyric writing, the thinking was simple, “everyone gets tired of the sound of their own voice sometimes...”.

Though better known for his solo albums of dark, Americana tinged reflection, Dan is no stranger to instrumental music, having spent the past few years creating score for film (Blowin'Up 2018) and television (Detectorists Series 1,2 &3. 2016-2018), and gradually building confidence with orchestra through his trilogy of albums 'Distance', 'Memory' and 'First Light', his 2017 album for voice and strings.

“Whilst working on the tone of those records, I fell in love with the likes of John Adams, Steve Reich, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Caroline Shaw with the same force that I had fallen for The Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen and Jonathan Richman many years before, and with the same outcome.. the inspiration to investigate a new direction”.

The result is a vast field of sound, as informed by texture and human intervention as it is by melody. “The hope is to be lost in it, to get to the other side with no memory of where you set out from ”

Working closely with violist and conductor Robert Ames and violinist Galya Bisengalieva to complete the record, Dan found their way of working to be “very similar to being in a band, just with less wrong notes”.


Reviewed by Nagamag on August 17, 2020