|SUMMER STORM | a collection of ukulele ditties 
01 - Across the sea
02 - In heaven
03 - Doug's love shack
04 - No mall...
05 - Talking story
06 - Silver lining
07 - A just senator
08 - Summer storm
SUMMER STORM | a collection of ukulele ditties
Written and recorded in Hawaii and New Zealand, Summer Storm – Daniel’s sixth solo outing – references laidback island life with the ukulele’s nylon strings, while wrapping it up in the kind of dynamic folk/indie-rock/ electronic feel that’s been gradually evolving throughout the singer/songwriter’s catalogue, particularly on the past two albums – 2001’s Bound and Suburban and darling one year, released end of last year.
“…A symbol of innocent merriment," as described in Paradise of the Pacific (1917), the ukulele epitomises Hawaiian lifestyle and the ‘aloha’ spirit. Popularised by the Waikiki Beachboys in the early part of last century, the ukulele had something of a heyday in the 1920s and ‘30s, when Hawaii was still a far off tropical island filled with mystery and romance. Though now firmly into the 21st century, this romance and mystery is captured beautifully on Summer Storm.
Recording for the first time without guitar, Daniel’s lilt on the ukulele and his trademark evocative lyrical content creates a distinct and fully-formed sound which is a journey in itself. Mixing Hawaiian references throughout – particularly in the environmental song No Mall At Sharks Cove, earlier released as an overnight recording in support of Friends of Sharks Cove (a Hawaiian Nonprofit Organization) – with social observation and personal insight (tipping his hat to political writer/ filmmaker Michael Moore in the cynically stated A Just Senator), Daniel combines his eclectic influences to deliver an album of light, frangipani-laced airiness and incisive, resonating cultural insight.
Set against this background, Daniel has welcomed back his darling one year contributors, Michael Brennan (Phonoss/the Stung/kidameln/the Feds/7 dials) on bass and Stan Leboy (theNOWawol/kidameln) on drums/ keyboards & loops. Together, the trio has created a warm, optimistic and cohesive album. Further, with the release based around the uniquely evocative ukulele, Summer Storm is an album unlike anything you’d expect.
Summer Storm is a welcome new chapter in this talented singer-songwriter’s ongoing story.
"...Down to earth and laid back, it has none of the musical tension of trying too hard or the injection of false emotions. Suburban folky and bohemian chic, it [darling one year] ties up agreeably layered and distorted vocals into an angst-ridden, quirky pop as catchy as The Strokes but easily as mysteriously engaging as James Keenan Maynard..." - Indie-Music
"...A perfect blend of lyrics, emotion and rhythm...If your looking for some refreshing new music for the soul, I whole-heartedly recommend darling one year as a must have for your collection." - AllAboutSurf
"...[Bound and Suburban] like walking alone on the beach at night and seeing Jim Morrison and Jeff Buckley strumming and singing at the waters edge..." - Indie-Music
"...these tracks [Bound and Suburban] could well have been written by the love child of David Kilgour, especially (and use your imagination here) if the other 'parent' was David Byrne (Talking Heads)..." - NZ Musician Magazine
"...Herein lies the essence of Bootlegged at the Temple: simply an audience, a musician, and a quiet venue... - no hype... In context with Daniel's previous two albums - FINE BY ME and flashback* - and subsequent release 'Bound and Suburban', 'Bootlegged' is a departure, which provides the listener a greater perspective on all of his work. Bootlegged is a great live album, which, over time, becomes as much a voyage of discovery and inspiration for the listener as for the musician himself." - Justin Walsh
Review of SUMMER STORM | a collection of ukulele ditties @ NZ Musician Magazine
Singer/songwriter Daniel Gannaway shows the ukelele in an inspiring new light with his sixth solo outing. Written and recorded here and in Hawaii the eight tracks are a rewarding journey for a Sunday afternoon with their folk/indie-rock style, supported with delicate use of electronic synths and loops. The innocence and simplicity of the primary instrument, the ukelele, provides the distinct back-drop for the Hawaiian laid-back lifestyle and certainly creates that picture perfect aesthetic over the album. But within the evocative and convincing vocal delivery Gannaway will allow you to feel the Hawaiian sunshine or push you into darker personal, cultural and social insights with thought provoking vocal harmonies and melodies. The great aspect of the album is that each song's arrangement maintains a minimalistic nature, which shows a discipline and a depth of understanding on Gannaway's part. Underneath the ukelele, the cruising drums and harmonic supporting bass grooves provide an all around easy and easily recommendable listen.
Kent Walsdorf for NZ Musician Magazine
>> Link to NZ Musician Magazine's website
Review of SUMMER STORM | a collection of ukulele ditties @ the LogBook
Many times, an album has been sparked by an artist's discovery/rediscovery of a new or unusual instrument, and sometimes it's worked (Todd Rundgren's A Capella experiment of the human voice as every instrument) and just as many times it hasn't. This is one of those times where it really works. New Zealand-based indie rocker Daniel Gannaway constructed this somewhere-between-EP-and-LP-length collection on a simple premise: every song would feature the ukelele in some fashion. (Yes, you read right, the ukelele.)
Recorded in NZ and Hawaii, Summer Storm takes that premise, and the instrument itself, through several permutations, and it all manages to work, largely thanks to Gannaway's reliable gifts in the songwriting department. Oddly enough, and this isn't a crack about originality or the lack thereof, the ukulele's role here reminded me of the shock value of the mandolin as a lead instrument in R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion. It's front and center on every song, though the tone of the songs shifts from light and breezy (Across The Sea, which reminded me curiously of early, pre-electric Split Enz) to more straight-ahead rock (Talking Story, which was the song that made me think of the Losing My Religion comparison in the first place), with stops at several stylistic destinations in between.
Someone's clearly having fun putting the ukulele through its paces, though again, the songs are the key - they're all good enough on their own, unusual arrangements or not, to stand up. But any preconceptions you have about the ukulele in terms of strumming away at old tropical island tunes may not stand up after you hear this one - in a few places, it's some real rock 'n' roll. If you're in the mood for something different, this is some good stuff.
Reviewed by Earl Green
>> Link to theLogBook.com
Review of SUMMER STORM | a collection of ukulele ditties @ Indie Music
Reviews: Daniel Gannaway ~ Summer Storm
Posted on Saturday, December 03, 2005 @ 07:26:44 EST
Artist: Daniel Gannaway
CD: Summer Storm
Home: New Zealand
Style: Ambient Pop
Quote: "These unique Gannaway sounds offer a pleasant musical getaway."
By Dan MacIntosh
Daniel Gannaway makes pretty and beguiling music comprised of ukulele playing and other more ambient elements. It is also subtly political at the same time. If you listen to tracks like “No Mall At Sharks Cove,” for instance, which rails against the proliferation of McDonald’s restaurants, mini-malls and the like, it’s obvious that Gannaway is angered over the way places of scenic beauty are often spoiled by a quest for the almighty dollar.
It’s impossible to neatly categorize Gannaway’s music. The title track, for instance, begins with a kind of Chinese music feel to it, whereas “A Just Senator” is slightly jazzy. Most all of these tracks include the severely underused ukulele, as well. Gannaway sings with a clear vocal tone, although he sounds ragged and drowsy during “Silver Lining.” It’s nearly impossible to tell that he’s a New Zealander. At least until the way he pronounces the word “heaven” on “In Heaven” gives his roots away.
Much like Gannaway’s home country, this music is an exotic, faraway place in relationship to the rest of the overall modern musical landscape. Nevertheless, these unique Gannaway sounds offer a pleasant getaway.
>> Link to Indie Music
Interview w Daniel re SUMMER STORM @ Pro Music News
>> For the Pro Music News version click here.
"Written and recorded in Hawaii and New Zealand, SUMMER STORM - Daniel's sixth solo outing - references laidback island life with the ukulele's nylon strings, while wrapping it up in the kind of dynamic folk/indie-rock/electronic feel."
Here is an interview with Daniel as he discusses this amazing new release with us...
So why the ukulele?
I wrote and recorded SUMMER STORM | a collection of ukulele ditties
on a ukulele that my wife gave me. I'd started plunking around on it after I finished darling one year
. At first I didn't really know what to make of the ukulele with it's little body and nylon strings, I was just bumbling around making shapes. I actually found it kind of frustrating at first because I couldn't even hint at the amazing Hawaiian ukulele music I was listening to. Once I accepted my limitations and style, as I had previously with the guitar, inspiration on the uke started to flow. It was kind of exciting for me to write songs on a different instrument. Fairly soon I had a bunch of ditties, and I thought it'd be really cool to make an album documenting them. I ended up deciding I would make an album without any guitar whatsoever, base it completely around the ukulele, using other sounds to complement.
Different instruments inspire a different approach...
Yeah exactly. For me it's the ukulele sound. It's different to the acoustic guitar and set off a new direction in song writing for me. SUMMER STORM
is the album I was imagining in my head, but because I was writing on a new instrument I didn't know if I could translate the ideas in my head into an actual living album around that core sound.
What was the first song you wrote on SUMMER STORM
The first couple of songs were real social/political in nature and then the group rounded out as other songs appeared. The first song was A just senator. I had words along those lines and the tune. Then the two were combined and inspired to completion by Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11
which I saw at the time. There was a heavy feeling in the air. Mainstream media networks like Fox were candy coating everything the President said. Meanwhile Iraq was forcing the Bush Administration to call up the National Guard for service there. Hawaii is one of the most militarized places on earth, so you're fairly aware of the military here. The song for me is a cynical, happy tune, with an old timey political props band on the trayback idea in mind. I wanted it to be fun to listen to and yet still raise a question mark. I was really happy with the outcome when we tied it all together with Michael's [Brennan] walking bass line and Stan's [Leboy] kooky drums and stuff. The second song I wrote was No Mall At Sharks Cove
, which was in support of Friends of Sharks Cove. Sharks Cove is a coastal gem, and a huge draw for tourism on the North Shore of Oahu. There is some seriously hideous development in Hawaii where no thought for the surrounding environment or community has been made, so my thoughts were that it'd be a shame to see Sharks Cove go the same way of the strip mall metality. Not only that, Haleiwa is just down the road. I'm interested in responsible development, and what was being proposed at the time was not responsible in any way.
So the same contributors again?
For sure. I was/am super happy with how darling one year
turned out. Michael and Stan just nailed what I wanted exactly. Same with the kidameln debut album, the kidameln lo-fi
, which we all play on [along with Warren Lawson]. For SUMMER STORM
Stan was his usual creative self with drums. This time there was also a more keys type input, rather than just electronic sounds. On darling one year
I wanted some weird electronica sounds, which he worked closely with me on. This time I wanted some keyboard and piano complimenting subtley. He did this and also brought some synths into places too. It's all really understated which is important. The same with Michael. I really trust Michael's judgement in contributing. I might have a groove I'm trying to find and he'll be able to play that, but he'll be like 'What about this instead?'. I usually run with what he suggests. Some musicians want to stamp their mark all over something, whereas he's sensitive to the overall message, and plays something that elevates the song as a whole. Recently while Michael was recording his latest Phonoss album, [Dead Slow for Hell
] he said that SUMMER STORM
was one of the hardest things he's had to play on. I'd dropped the key of my ukulele when I was given it 'cause I liked the sound better, so it became really slack, which made it really fun for Michael to tune too. I got a bung ear for tuning so it was sort of all on his shoulders as to whether he was in or not. If you listen to some songs on SUMMER STORM
in headphones you'll hear two bass lines of Michael's playing off each other and stuff like that. I really like what he put down, the album as a whole has a really nice low end driving it along.
What about recording?
Michael and I each bit the bullet and invested in moving across from PC onto the MAC/Protools M-Box platform. I did this prior to recording SUMMER STORM
. It was quite a learning process, learning the basics of a whole new recording method, while getting my head around what I was trying to do with the album. Probably this is actually the best way to learn something, as you're forced to figure it out to achieve your aim. Ultimately the investment has been worth it as we're now able to send each other a dvd with a Protools project on it, and while he might be in Switzerland I can be here in the US and still formulating an idea together in a really quality form. This is what we've done in the past before getting together to actually put the thing down. Now we may be able to put the bulk of the demo song down and then get together with a really nice quality to start from. Same with Warren who has been working on a solo project in New Zealand that I've already contributed a vocal track to. A slow Johnny Cash like countrified version of the Feds song Ridin lo. I used Protools to record over his rhythm track, sent him the vocal separate and he mixes at his end. Killer. The new kidameln album will feel real different to the first album as it will all be done in Protools, which is what we actually joked about after finishing the kidameln lo-fi, doing something higher-fi. I always want to learn something new out of a project and with SUMMER STORM
[new Phonoss album], I've learnt some basic Protools stuff and can see that the program has huge potential. As always, you've got to know what you're trying to produce or you'll get lost in the plugins and effects. Sometimes you don't need any of them.
The new kidameln album will be next. We got most of it in the can over a month or two of recording sessions before I left Aotearoa in September 05. We'll be adding some final touches, mixing, and then mastering with our friend Jason at MCA in Auckland. Given all of our schedules and locations it might be a little whiles away. After that I will be putting out a solo acoustic album. It's gonna be a collection of the social/environmental/political songs I've been releasing every now and again. I'm really excited about that. Then after that I'll be helping produce on a kinda country/folk debut album for the band theNOWawol. Most of the songs are written and sung by Stan and Lanky Fredriks with some nice lead licks from Big Col Jeffries and bass by A'lan Michaels. Real quiet mellow songs. I might be singing backups on a couple and strumming rhythm on a few. Both the new kidameln and theNOWawol albums will be put out on my label truly independent
and distributed in NZ/Australia by Powertool Records
. As per usual, anything I'm involved with will be available through CD Baby, Mp3tunes, iTunes and a variety of other outlets for mp3s and cds. Stay tuned!
Great to talk to you.
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