Listen: Dan Mangan - About As Helpful... [New Single]

on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Words: Simon Opie

Dan Mangan music promo photo

I know next to nothing about Dan Mangan except he’s from Vancouver, which I’m told is a great place to live, and his 2011 album 'Oh Fortune' is amazingly well put together. This song was one of my top tunes of 2011 and hey – there’s a new video release for it and that’s a great excuse to introduce it all over again.

Mangan is aided by some terrific musicians and some backroom people who’ve coincidentally worked with many of my favourite artists – Black Mountain, Bill Frissel, Mike Patton – and despite there being a throng of singer songwriters on the loose just now (or whatever the collective noun for singer songwriters actually is), it’s a surprising and original piece of work. So it stands out.

'About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All' is my favourite track from the album and this video is as quirky as the music. It takes about as long to get going as the song – around 60 seconds – but thereafter it’s mesmerising. Sort of 'Lord Of The Flies' meets Pina Bausch somewhere in South East Asia. If you like this, you should definitely give the album a try, as its consistently excellent.

'Oh Fortune' was released by City Slang in the UK now, and is available to purchase from

msn spaces tracker