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Album Review - Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards: Saltwater
Memphis Industries

by Dylan Stewart, first published in LondonTourdates #042 ,13th March 2009

It’s been a while since a male vocalist has been captured in the serene, sublime way that Dan Michaelson has been here.

Backed by beautiful arrangements and production close to perfection, what Michaelson has achieved is nothing short of brilliant, and one of the albums of the (granted, still young) year. You might know of Michaelson through his band Absentee, though this collection is quite different from that band’s up-tempo tunes.

Composing the album on a cheap piano, Michaelson has not only made a brilliant career move, but seems to have had a lot of fun doing it: hanging out at The Premises studio in Hackney, employing members of Fields, Magic Numbers, Ed Harcourt’s band and Absentee itself, roping in producers Valgeir Sigurdsson (Bjork / Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) and Nick Terry (Bernard Butler/Libertines).

Saltwater was never going to fail - from first listen, it’s an unbridled, unadulterated gem.

Dylan Stewart

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