Daniel Lanois: Power
Evocative soundscapes and gospel vocals deliver a positive message.
By Kerry Doole
Daniel Lanois - Power (eOne Music): Last week superstar producer and acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist Daniel Lanois released a new song, Power. The track is the second single from Lanois’ forthcoming album, Heavy Sun, due on March 19 and the first release under his new Maker Series brand.
The track features some of Lanois’ signature atmospherics for the first minute, with organ, guitar and synths featured, then gospel-accented vocals take over. The lyrics are indeed basic – “people got the power, why can’t we be together?” – but are delivered convincingly.
On the meaning behind Power, Lanois writes in a press release: “I didn’t think there was much to say about a song with such a simple message. But just yesterday I got a message from Eno asking me to sign a petition about injustices in Uganda. Apparently, a dictatorship operating under the guise of democracy."
Lanois explains the inspiration for the track’s video visualizer: “Native mythology talks about the half bird half human, Thunderbird Woman. She comes to show the way to balance. May we have the POWER to get there. Empowerment for Betterment.”
Assisting Lanois on this new material is his current band, heavy sun orchestra, featuring Johnny Shepherd plus longtime collaborators Jim Wilson and Rocco DeLuca. Recorded in Los Angeles and Toronto, Heavy Sun reportedly fuses classic gospel and modern electronics.
Lanois is a restless musical adventurer, bringing his original sensibility to a wide range of musical genres. His first two solo albums, Acadie and For the Beauty of Wynona, are rightfully revered, two solo instrumental albums, Belladonna and Flesh and Machine, showcased his instrumental prowess, and 2010's Black Dub drew upon dub, soul, blues and rock.
He is still best known as an 11-time Grammy-winning producer who has worked with the likes of U2, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, and Emmylou Harris, but Lanois' formidable body of solo work merits more attention. We await this new addition with interest.
Publicity: Ola Mazucca, Indoor Recess
Booking: Darcy Gregoire, The Feldman Agency