When last we checked in with Daniel Norgren, he spoke to us of the blues. “It feels like a lot of the music I listen to – almost everything – has its roots in the blues,” he told AD’s Jason P. Woodbury. “I like the really old one-man blues –- Son House [style], a singer with a guitar. It’s the core. I don’t know how to explain it…it has some special shimmer in it I fell in love with. I’ve been drawn to that total, naked core that you can find in old blues music.”
Around this time, Norgren was releasing Skogens Frukter, a collection of tracks fusing his own blend of lonesome blues and folk with ambient field recordings. On his latest, Wooh Dang, he seems to have found the sweet spot. There is a large sense of shimmering Americana throughout the record, with barroom piano and gospel-tinged arrangements, but Norgren starts this record in the shadows. Album opener “Blue Sky Moon” is a distorted and static-laden instrumental, a naturalistic panoramic landscape slowly coming in and out of focus amongst the white noise.
This leads into “The Flow,” which is, frankly, just a mean, lean motherfucker of a song. Norgren keeps the affair ambient and sparse – a languid and nocturnal blues, one that fogs the senses with a hint of inherent yet nebulous danger. Channeling Neil Young lost somewhere in outer space, Norgren is just “bumming around / trying to find the flow.” Sinewy streaks of pedal steel, forlorn saxophone, delicate piano, and blown-out howling electric guitar are his sole company, as he observes himself as nothing but “skin and bones / a long way from home.” Yeah, that’s the blues. words / c depasquale