Singer/songwriter and co-founder of Elephant Revival, Dango Rose, recently released his new five-song EP called The Forgotten Years: Vol II. This is the second release from Rose's The Forgotten Years EP Trilogy and highlights a more experimental phase with deeper subject matter, into a style Rose calls "Steam Pop" - a hybrid of Pop, Folk, Roots and subtle electronic motifs.
We recently got the chance to sit down with Dango to talk about his new music, how it's evolving, and what he has planned for the new year.
Hi, Dango! Your band, Elephant Revival, is known for "transcendental folk" music. How would you describe this genre of music to new listeners?
Transcendental Folk was coined by a music journalist named Marc Tonglen back in 2009 when describing the sound of Elephant Revival. I suppose the term pays homage to the great transcendental authors of the 19th century who drew their inspiration from a coming back to nature, back to source. In a manner of speaking, Elephant Revival's creative process was very much inspired by time spent in nature. I remember one tour parked in a National Forest by a river in Idaho where all of us were off under a different tree writing a song. We were fortunate for a time, to have been able to live outside the grind of industry standards when it came to touring life.
You've shared the stage with some pretty awesome musicians like Joan Baez, John Oates and Elvis Costello. Who would be your dream artist to tour or perform with?
At this point in time, my ambition has taken a breath when it comes to hard touring. Yet, I love performing with my partner Xerephine, as well as writing with my friend Sam Burchfield down in Georgia. I really enjoy what my friends in Gone Gone Beyond are up to and I enjoy working in the studio with Danny Musengo who is the principal songwriter of that band. It would be cool to perform with Roo Panes out of England...I really admire his work.
You recently released your new EP "The Forgotten Years: Vol II." How did writing music during Elephant Revival's hiatus help you transition from a band to a solo artist?
All of the music from The Forgotten Years Trilogy was written before Elephant Revival went on hiatus. That's kind of the interesting thing about it - it chronicles my time in the studio when we weren't on the road. It's hard to remember the finer details of these times. That's why these are "The Forgotten Years" - if that makes sense. My friend, Drew Emmit from Leftover Salmon, and I would joke about when somebody would tell us a story or bring up a memory from the road. Our response over time became "Yup, that very well could've happened." There's a certain sense of amnesia that occurs - whether that's selective or not is hard telling.
How is this EP different from the music you've previously released?
So much of this volume is collaborative, which begins with the longtime partnership I have with producer Evan Reeves and then extending outwards into the collective of musicians and that fill out my studio scene here in Boulder. The Forgotten Years: Vol. II highlights a more experimental and collaborative phase with deeper subject matter, adding subtle electronic elements into a style we call Steam Pop -- A hybrid of Pop, Folk, Roots and subtle Electronic motifs.
What are your plans for 2022?
This winter, I am working with Earth Dog Films on an original music score for a very important documentary called “Fracking the System – Colorado’s Oil and Gas Wars.” The film provides a deep dive into the lives of environmental activists while documenting the dark strategies that the oil and gas industry employs to overcome them. For more information, check out the trailer at frackingthesystem.com.
Also..."The Forgotten Years: Vol. III" will be released in the late winter of 2022.
From there, well...probably best right now to stay focused one season at a time. ;-)