Daniel G. Harmann & the Trouble Starts
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Daniel G. Harmann & the Trouble Starts

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"Quietly Beautiful" - Hannah Levin - the Stranger


"...Brimming with wistful songs that address disappointments and farewells... Harmann writes wonderful songs where aching melody and minimalist structure provide a sturdy platform for his plaintive voice. At times Harmann's vocals recall a young Art Garfunkel or the late Elliott Smith." - the Oregonian


“The Lake Effect grabs a lock of your hair and teases you willingly through the lush valleys of sonic bliss with its atmospheric soundscapes. Not often does an album waltz through and demand to be noticed in such a subtle way... Indeed [it] will ripple through you and unlike a skipping stone won’t eventually sink in—it sinks immediately into your soul in a place reserved for your favorite lovers and best of friends as a perfect invasion of your most private of emotions." EDITORS PICK - Smother.net


"Big music--you know, crashing chords, warped string arrangements, breathy vocals, etc. This could be pretentious and dull, but Harmann's energy is unflagging. He never fails to give a song the last bit of gas in his tank, and that's what sells this for me." - Aiding & Abetting


"What freezes you about Daniel G. Harmann’s music is the expanse. A quietly loud expanse. It scans across a highway bridge at night. Someone driving realizes the perfectness of hands. Harmann cuts from quiet and clean to loud and distorted with a crafted sense of timing. When he gets loud, it’s more a movement to volume. His higher range vocals coat the shift and the rhythm steadily drives. Though it grows in volume, the music doesn’t seem louder. The quiet – loud, loud – quiet transition is one that Harmann and his band (the Trouble Starts) wield deftly. It’s a use of light and dark that Harmann has figured out. When he goes louder, it only deepens. Sound at the Tractor for Harmann was particularly dialed in. No earplugs were needed and that may have been another reason the high end of the band’s clean sounds were so pristine. Harmann’s lyrics add a layer to his gentle use of distortion and volume. You are paying attention to his words and there is association. In “Beer from a Bottle” he sings, “I’ve been known to drink far too much. And to spend the day washing off the night before. This is not a swan song, this is not a memory.” The way he sings “drink” I hear “drift”." - the Stranger


"It's hard to get ahead in Seattle's highly saturated pool of singer/songwriters. Rocky Votolato, PWRFL Power, Tiny Vipers, Sera Cahoone—they're all doing well for themselves. But for each successful acoustically inclined artist, there's three dozen hopefuls waiting in line. Daniel G. Harmann knows the struggle; he's been waiting his turn for years. But his new album, Anthems from the Gentle War (his fourth studio release produced by Graig Markel), is his best yet. The songs are bigger, filled with lush strings, chimes, and vocal harmonies. And though its themes are still deeply rooted in the "sad bastard" category, the album's triumphant guitars and Markel's sparkling production make it glow with optimism. Harmann might get his day yet." - the Stranger


"Over the last several years and releases, Daniel G. Harmann has collaborated with many fine musicians including Head Like A Kite’s Trent Moorman and beloved songstress Rosie Thomas to name a few. There are few signs more indicative of talent than bringing in other talent. Most striking is Harmann’s sweet falsetto and backing melodies, which add up to an emotional breadth approaching that of Sigur Ros. The lush soundscapes are big enough to fill an arena and personal enough to whisper in your ear. Every song on the album is clean but not squeaky, consistent but never contrived. Upon first listen you may have a I know where he’s going with this moment, only to be proven wrong every time." - KEXP Blog


"The second full-length release from Phoenix native & current Seattleite Daniel G. Harmann goes on to follow the same blueprint that he has followed his entire career: just be patient, and good things will happen eventually. They do, as is made clear on “A Dying Dove”, which recalls Radiohead, if that band were willing to fit their sound into a nightclub. Harmann and his cast of rotating characters picks up speed quick. Thankfully, he doesn’t ape Thom York, but he does have the coveted gift to only speak when necessary. When he does, you always feel inclined to listen." - Sound Magazine


"Daniel G. Harmann’s songs drift and ache, sad but uplifting. I’d say they’re brave, but they’re more subdued than that. Feels like fall. His latest release, Anthems from the Gentle War, came out September 4th and was recorded at Recovery Room Studio in Greenwood. If the Cure were from the South, they’d sound like Harmann. Anthems rolls scenes from your memory back to when you used to lay on the grass and look at the sky. When you used to run away and roll marbles down a path of tamped earth. It’s muted and loud. A match to a moth wing." - the Stranger


"This is a lovely, lilting record, but to call them songs isn't accurate. For his fourth studio album, Seattleite Daniel G. Harmann has crafted nine lush dreamscapes that plod along in a slow and midtempo trance. Track to track, the playbook doesn't change much: twinkling guitars, melancholy minor chords, distant vocals that -- regardless of the words he's actually crooning -- echo a distant despair or some far-off loneliness. While this may not be the best sales pitch, "Anthems" is actually a very gratifying and certainly hypnotic meditation on woe." - Seattle PI


Discography

Failures in Motion EP - 2001
the Lake Effect LP - 2004
We Could Live in Hope - A Tribute to Low LP - 2004
the Books We Read Will Bury Us EP - 2006
Anthems from the Gentle War LP - 2007
Our Arms EP - 2008

All of my releases have received heavy airplay on KEXP in Seattle, and generous play from college radio nationwide, as well as on SomaFM.com

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Bio

Daniel G. Harmann is the reigning king of sad bastard swoon rock. Audiences cheer and lift their drinks as he and the Trouble Starts play pretty as hell music but with a rock-hard gut; blending minimalism and guitar-swathes in an audio ambience that confidently favors sublime melody over direct meaning. In the past he’s shared the stage with bands as diverse as Of Montreal, Say Hi To Your Mom, The Radar Brothers, and Jon Auer (The Posies), among many others.

Seattle-based DGH has done this locally at shows opening for Pela and Goodness at the Tractor (one of the band's favorite venues), and because of his songs and sound was enlisted on the ‘No Reservations’ TV show for a look at Seattle underground food culture (“I was doing the music for most Gypsy dinners, and they had just landed the Bourdain gig, so I asked if I could play it, and it worked out.”)

KCRW championed Harmann as early as his first EP (“Failures in Motion”), and his last album “Anthems from the Gentle War” had so many simmering layers of meaning and sound it’s still affecting critics who reviewed it a year ago. With tracks like KEXP favorite “Beer From A Bottle” and “A Dying Dove” getting raves, producer Graig Markel captured his elegant musical tension perfectly when recording its eleven tracks, and now shown on his sonorous new single “I Became The Ground.” As well as others he’s preparing for a fresh full-length on Burning Building Recordings later this year.

Playing solo but with many sparkling regional guest stars like Markel, Rosie Thomas, Trent Moorman, Robert Deeble, Bob Smolenski, Lesli Wood, and others over previous releases (two EPs and two LPs, and a track on a Low tribute album). The Trouble Starts is made up of Forrest Haskell (Dorkweed) on bass/vocals, Ozo Jaculecwicz (Dorkweed as well) on guitar/vocals, and drummer/vocalist Shea Bliss (Tagging Satellites).

“When I was playing acoustic I would get a lot of people coming up and telling me that my songs leaned towards a bigger sound, and that I should try to make that happen live,” Harmann explains about acquiring a permanent backing band. “I totally agreed, especially since my records have always been big, with full production ... having a big, huge soundscape live was always a dream.”