Video Danielson: “Grow Up”

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Video directed by Ben Stamper

Best Of Gloucester County (Sounds Familyre) is Danielson’s first album in 5 years!. It includes a new core lineup (including a banjo-toting Sufjan Stevens) plus a horn section and guest spots from Jens Lekman, Serena-Maneesh’s Emil Nikolaisen, and members of Soul-Junk, US Maple and Cryptacize. It also includes this first single “Grow Up.”

What does a Danielson album actually sound like, if it is no longer “outsider art,” but is, as it ought always have been considered, a thoughtful and persuasive contribution to the world of popular song? Suddenly the musical forebears are not quite as distant, so that you can hear bits of Captain Beefheart and Syd Barrett in the mix, psychedelic music in general, also the Kinks, the Beatles, T. Rex, and also country and folk and gospel (but in a way that doesn’t sound like country and folk and gospel).

These influences now give way to a completely realized musical vision, in which arrangement is pursued with a singularity untold earlier, but which is just as virtuosic as on the “chamber pop” releases of the present moment, on an Antony and Johnsons album, as on a Grizzly Bear album, as on a Joanna Newsom album. Danielson, that is, has become a beautiful thinker in popular music, idiosyncratic but accomplished, whose major keys are always slipping away into minor keys, whose chord progressions are most often chromatic, always modulating, whose voice, somewhere in the area of two entire octaves, is in every register here, as though he has to be the entire chorus himself.