Danielson, Sonoi, Miracle Condition | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Danielson, Sonoi, Miracle Condition Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Wed., March 30, 9 p.m. 2011

Now we have Sufjan and David Bazan, but first there was Daniel Smith, aka Danielson, the OG Christian indie-rock dude it was OK—cool, even—to like. He was a pioneer—he did it in the 90s! Beginning in the middle of that decade, Smith and his ensemble the Danielson Famile released a long string of endearingly weird albums, which border on earnestly wacky and often veer toward the precious; after 2006's Ships, though, the group scattered and Smith took five years off to be a daddy. His new full-length, Best of Gloucester County (Sounds Familyre), is a rebirth of sorts, a reinvention of the Daniel Smith we once knew. Gloucester County is a twinkly (but not cute) meditation that hovers weightlessly, even directionlessly. The chamber-pop elements have become terse and intense, and the arrangements are heaped-up and claustrophobic, with carefully arranged layers of static sound—indie songcraft turned ramblin' raga. It's a more subtle, grown-up version of Danielson to be sure, though there are still some signs of the ol' familiar guy lingering: "People's Partay," for instance, is about a celebration with "party pizzas" and "a nature walk for seniors," and it sounds like the lyrics were written with lots of exclamation points. 18+. —Jessica Hopper

Price: $12

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