Daniel Gannaway - FLASHBACK: by Lucy Cooper
08 Jan 2004 // A review by Kraven
A friend gave me FINE BY ME while I was travelling and it seemed to click with exactly where I was at, wherever that was, becoming a kind of 'processing' album for me. It was at least six months later that I actually met Daniel when he played a support to Carla Werner at the Hopetown Hotel in Sydney. It was a heartfelt and intimate live experience hearing live versions of those songs I'd gotten to know so well interspersed with songs from a new album he'd brought with him, 'flashback'. Needless to say, flashback went into immediate rotation on our car stereo.
flashback was, like FINE BY ME, a sleeper album. It definitely took a few listens before we caught ourselves knowing lines and humming along. While it was still an album predominately based around Daniel's voice and acoustic guitar, flashback definitely had an edgier and more varied feel from it's predecessor. There was a sense of adventure, a feeling that you were learning new things along with him. Daniel's songwriting had become cheekier, more socially observant and less apologetic in some way.
Starting with the clip clop tribute to a friendship song 'His name's Tom', the distortion tinged pleading of 'Sarah', the quiet/heavy/quiet of theft song 'Good job?' and the acoustic semi-pop bounce of 'Boy racer car sale', flashback immediately sets a few different tones. It then drops into the melancholy strum of gambling addicted 'Your winning way' and the ever so gentle mourning tone of 'Rest'. The much needed lift back up comes in the form of trippy title track 'flashback' and the high energy run of 'Look Mama!' [apparently using the text from a postcard to his mother] which leads into the lyrical loping [around what I'm sure is Bondi Beach] of 'Her piano', this song also gives a hint that Daniel at this point had set upon defining his own course for that immediate future music wise. Quirky harmonica laced 'A french girl' brings things back up to a quicker stroll with the happy remembrance of an exotic past love and the bluesy, story telling style of 'Not a candidate' carries you into the album ending and curiously titled 'Fuck the gardeners' [an obvious play on gardeners being the advocates of the 'tall poppy syndrome' - a NZ/Australian phenomenon - in their cutting down of anyone standing taller than the accepted status quo]. After this up and down ride it's a driving and motivating end to the album, leaving you with the feeling to go out, stand tall and be proud.
Inspiring to see that Daniel is following that feeling himself.
About Daniel Gannaway
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OP-ED: Environmental / Social / Political
"Documenting many of Daniel's previously unrecorded songs of environmental, social and political importance, OP-ED is an inspired compilation of acoustic material on guitar and ukulele - all recorded in Hawaii during February of 2006."