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Country - Released March 27, 2020 | You've Changed Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 30, 2018 | New West Records

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Not counting the surprise pair of digital-only albums that appeared just ten months earlier, Finally Free is Daniel Romano's proper follow-up to 2017's confounding yet transportive country psych-pop missive, Modern Pressure. A philosophical one-man song machine, the Canadian indie bard's prolificity somehow hasn't diminished the quality of his work as he once again shifts modes, this time into tones of pastoral British folk and kaleidoscopic druggy musings that all seem to fit snugly within his ever-expanding oeuvre. However he chooses to present his work, Romano remains a man of many words, and Finally Free is no different in that respect. His heady stream of transcendental poetry spills out in myriad forms, from the rich earthen imagery of fingerpicked highlight "All the Reaching Trims" to the cerebral and sometimes tediously meandering freak-folk of "Celestial Manis." "Have You Arrival," the album's longest track at nearly six and a half minutes, counters its complex arrangement and drippy lyrics ("sweet pollens of love in a syrupy breeze") with a deeply engaging melody and exultant harmonies that make it all hang together. Of all the tracks, "Empty Husk" stands as the most succinct and affecting, accelerating slowly from its sweet acoustic refrain of "I won't be afraid," to a massive wall of distorted guitars and drums, to a defiant chorus of "no more darkness, no more." As far as openers go, it's a stunner and a tough act to follow, but as the title suggests, there is a sense of freedom in Finally Free that extends beyond its vanguard. Romano has always been a tough artist to pigeonhole, but there's a feeling here of having shed a few more layers and dug a little deeper into his psyche, and the results are frequently exhilarating. © Timothy Monger /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 19, 2017 | New West Records

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Rock - Released May 27, 2016 | New West Records

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Country - Released April 5, 2011 | You've Changed Records

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Rock - Released July 31, 2015 | New West Records

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Country - Released June 1, 2010 | You've Changed Records

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Country - Released January 22, 2013 | Normaltown Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 19, 2018 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 19, 2017 | New West Records

The seventh studio long-player from the mercurial Canadian pop/country crooner and the follow-up to 2016's Mosey (Romano averages about an album a year), Modern Pressure has been described as a "collection of spiritual songs" by its creator. More Walt Whitman than C.S. Lewis, the 12-track set harbors some lofty ambitions, with the Ontario native explaining the overall arc of the record as "the sound of the moment reverberating into the future. Like the music of the spheres, these melodies and verses are both pertinent and timeless." Heady as that statement may be, there's some truth in it, as Romano is a deft architect of knotty indie power pop dressed up in countrypolitan clothing -- think Ezra Furman by way of Van Dyke Parks and Lee Hazlewood. His propensity for verbosity is often rewarded by moments of pure thought distillation ("react at your leisure, modern pressure" is particularly effective), and the arrangements, while notably wily, are always in the service of the main melody, adding frenetic bits of color, kitchen sink samples, and offbeat blasts of rhythm with the mad joy of Jackson Pollock at his least self-destructive. As busy as things get on Modern Pressure, the less kinetic moments are afforded ample time to shine, with some of the LP's strongest bit arriving via breezy, sunset-ready, two-lane highway-worthy jams like "Roya" and "Impossible Green." There are the occasional lo-fi moments that creep in and reduce the efficacy of the LP's overarching retro tube-driven warmth -- the factory orchestral bursts that pepper the otherwise outstanding title track come off as more distracting than clever -- but Romano remains such an unpredictable and compelling presence throughout, that it's easy to forgive the occasional misstep. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Country - Released July 31, 2015 | New West Records

If you wanted to make a case for Daniel Romano as Canada's answer to Robbie Fulks, you wouldn't have a whole lot of trouble making it stick. Romano isn't nearly as snarky as Fulks, but one can chalk that up to the traditional courtesy of the Canadian people, and he has a faint but similar thread of dark humor running through his work. And like Fulks, Romano has an impressive talent for writing songs that evoke the classic era of countrypolitan weepers, and his dry but evocative vocals are not only nearly as good as Robbie's, their voices even bear a noticeable similarity. What sets Romano apart is the natural, ineffable blue mood of his sad songs, which hit the heart dead-on without ever sounding forced, as well as his impressive studio techniques, all of which are on display on Romano's fourth solo album, 2015's If I've Only One Time Askin'. Romano is a multi-instrumentalist who handles most of the instruments on this album himself through the magic of multitracking (using analog tape, no less), and his touch is impressive; if the synthesized strings sometimes call attention to themselves, Romano's skill on piano and guitar is superb. And when he does bring in ringers, he chooses wisely, while Aaron Goldstein's pedal steel and Kay Berkel's accordion are splendid. Though Romano can earn a healthy chuckle with "Two Word Joe" or add an ironic psychedelic coda to "The One That Got Away (Came Back Today)," most of the time he plays it straight, and he's right to believe in this material -- "Strange Faces," "There's a Hardship," "Let Me Sleep (At the End of a Dream)," and the title track are well-crafted songs filled with broken hearts and prairie soul, and as writer, producer, and artist, Romano doesn't miss a trick. I've Only One Time Askin' shows the Americana scene is still bearing strong fruit North of the Border, and with any luck, Daniel Romano won't end up as a perennial cult figure like Robbie Fulks -- though it would hardly be a bad thing if he could spend a couple decades making great records, just as Robbie has done. © Mark Deming /TiVo

Alternative & Indie - Released April 29, 2016 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 14, 2017 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 28, 2018 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 23, 2018 | New West Records

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Rock - Released March 18, 2016 | New West Records

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Rock - Released April 29, 2016 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 12, 2017 | New West Records

The seventh studio long-player from the mercurial Canadian pop/country crooner and the follow-up to 2016's Mosey (Romano averages about an album a year), Modern Pressure has been described as a "collection of spiritual songs" by its creator. More Walt Whitman than C.S. Lewis, the 12-track set harbors some lofty ambitions, with the Ontario native explaining the overall arc of the record as "the sound of the moment reverberating into the future. Like the music of the spheres, these melodies and verses are both pertinent and timeless." Heady as that statement may be, there's some truth in it, as Romano is a deft architect of knotty indie power pop dressed up in countrypolitan clothing -- think Ezra Furman by way of Van Dyke Parks and Lee Hazlewood. His propensity for verbosity is often rewarded by moments of pure thought distillation ("react at your leisure, modern pressure" is particularly effective), and the arrangements, while notably wily, are always in the service of the main melody, adding frenetic bits of color, kitchen sink samples, and offbeat blasts of rhythm with the mad joy of Jackson Pollock at his least self-destructive. As busy as things get on Modern Pressure, the less kinetic moments are afforded ample time to shine, with some of the LP's strongest bit arriving via breezy, sunset-ready, two-lane highway-worthy jams like "Roya" and "Impossible Green." There are the occasional lo-fi moments that creep in and reduce the efficacy of the LP's overarching retro tube-driven warmth -- the factory orchestral bursts that pepper the otherwise outstanding title track come off as more distracting than clever -- but Romano remains such an unpredictable and compelling presence throughout, that it's easy to forgive the occasional misstep. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 27, 2016 | New West Records

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Rock - Released June 30, 2015 | New West Records