Album | Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards – Distance

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Dan Michaelson’s fifth record since the break-up of previous band Absentee captures a theme of heartbreak and sinks it deep into your soul within thirty blissful minutes. Written after his divorce, this is as raw and as gripping as you get but Michaelson never lets the topics go too far into depression. You’re carried along by the hurt from his words but there’s always a sense of courage through the pain.

‘Every Step’ begins with a monologue from Michaelson that feels as though he’s standing right next to you and the way the melodies wrap around his most unique of voices as the song kicks in is typical of the entire album. Lyrics like “I strip the sheets out from the bed/It makes it easier to forget/I wipe my footprints from the floor/So you forget which size I wore” are reflections of something beautiful lost and of the need to move past the hurt.

‘Evening Light’ works through pain and comes out the other side with optimism and by the time final track ‘Somewhere’ finishes with brighter accompaniment from the band it feels like you’ve been a part of Michaelson’s personal wounded journey but that there’s genuine hope despite it all. Distance is a triumphant exploration of a topic that many attempt to cover but few pull off as majestically as this.

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