Dayna Manning
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Dayna Manning

Band Pop Adult Contemporary


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"Folkyo Review"

There's very little I dislike more, musically speaking, than a pop song that is nothing but a voice stretched over a beat. There are exceptions, of course, but in most pop, it's disrespectful to the listening audience, not to mention lazy, to not write and arrange music with an eye toward making its sound complex. I think this feeling stems from my affection for classical music; from Beethoven's symphonies to Poulenc's piano sextets to Carter Burwell's quirky movie scores, I love being able to be able to let my mind trip from instrument to instrument, split the music into components, focus on one part, then another, then another, and then pull everything together into a whole that I appreciate more for having examined it more closely. Pop music doesn't have to overwhelm with intricacy, but it should show that the people who put it together threw at least some effort into the music's composition.
Musical complexity is just one of the reasons Dayna Manning's Folkyo is not just a very fine folk-pop album, but an accomplishment. The music in every song is a constantly shifting combination of instruments, set up in a way that encourages the listener to roam through each arrangement and to appreciate how seemingly disparate instruments and harmonies combine to be an engaging whole. This aspect of Manning's musicianship is on display in most of the songs on the album, including "I Always Want to Be With You," with its mandolin and violin, as well as "Gloria," in its ambient mixture of the acoustic and synthetic. Even the relatively pared-down "Pale Moon" has delicious banjo and cello undertones that enhance the song's wistfulness.

Layered compositions aren't the only reason I'm currently struggling to avoid the use of superlatives, however. There's also Manning's voice, which developed from the folksy nasality of Volume 1 through the more adult feel of Shades to the by-God loveliness of Folkyo. She's also learned how to fashion her music to fit her voice. On Volume 1's "Under the Hill," she was buried under a heap of guitars; the song was simply inappropriate for her voice at the time. Folkyo's "In the Meantime," besides being probably the best all-around song on the disc, is a followup and improvement to "Under the Hill"'s approach, as Manning's voice now soars above the dense music, yet still doesn't overwhelm it.

Manning's lyrics are also in top form on Folkyo. I've listened to "Tears" for months now, and I'm still tickled by the phrase "you're the glue in my life; you hold me together, but you keep me in place." The fifth song on the album, "If Your Mind Changes," deals with the topic of romantic woe, but dresses it up with a countryish feel and references to living in the Great White North. And then there's "What's So Great About Her?," a fast-paced screed about society's (and men's) fixation on shallow female beauty. That's a theme that's had its share of attention, but Manning ups the ante by cutting loose with phrases like "I'm a cut above your silly ego-driven love" and then turning that assertion on its ear by spending the rest of the song trying to convince herself and us--in knowing futility--that it's true. I'd give a good amount of consideration to flying to Canada just to watch Manning stomp through that one.

But the final reason Folkyo is exceptional hasn't been touched by my pseudointellectual babbling. Simply put, the album is fun. And catchy: even the brief "Better Than" has a tune that surfaced in my mind days after I first heard it, and "I Always Want to Be With You" is the best sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-alone-in-the-car tune I've heard in years. It's a pleasure, and not a guilty one. And so is the rest of Folkyo. - The Cold Spot

"Folkyo Review"

I must confess that I didn’t know who Dayna Manning was until my friend and publisher Chris White asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing her album. He thinks very highly of her and after listening to Folkyo a few times, I can understand why. This lovely young woman is one helluva fantastic singer/songwriter! She’s intelligent, has a striking voice, is an accomplished musician who contributes bass, banjo, guitar and piano on the record and if she’s not a major success on Much More Music and CMT, she sure as hell should be. Her country/rock/, pop/folk songs are exceptional and she has as much talent as Faith Hill, Martina McBride or any of the Three Sarahs (of Canada). If you’re a fan of Emm Gryner or Martha Wainwright as I am, you will also appreciate Dayna Manning. Folkyo has impressed me so much that I am definitely a new fan!
Stratford, Ontario born, 26-year-old Dayna Manning has two previous albums which were released by EMI Music Canada: the critically acclaimed, Juno nominated Volume 1 and its successor Shades. She’s toured with Lilith Fair (in 1997) and the likes of Radiohead and Lisa Loeb and recorded with Sean Ono Lennon and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; none too shabby credentials. Dayna describes her latest album as folk pop for dreamers and I couldn’t agree more. Released on her fresh, self-owned label (because she was tired of giving up almost everything she earned to a major), Folkyo is an accomplishment she can be truly proud of. Dayna wrote, recorded and co-produced her new CD and also ambitiously founded DMI, her own entertainment company. This woman will be going to some marvelous places and she even gives free advice for the lovelorn in the Lover Lover section of her official website!

Fol.Key.Oh is depicted on Dayna’s website as “An ideally perfect city in ones own judgment. Ones own fictional city that could be designed and inhabited in any fashion the heart desires.” As a result of all the traveling Dayna has done throughout her career she has made significant friendships with people all over the world with whom she does not have time in her day to day life to connect with on a regular basis. She daydreamed of creating a utopian city where all those people would live together so she could see them any time and named it Folkyo.
Folkyo opens with the magical, uplifting “I Always Want To Be With You”, a country/pop number highlighted by the pleasing strains of the violin accompanied by dynamic guitar and mandolin strumming. A more meditative, slower tempo graces the beginnings of the poetic “Gloria” until it joyfully expands into an aria of passion:

“I’ll be the Venus to your Mars
A moon for your stars
I’ll make comets fly behind your back
I’ll make the ground soft for when you touch down
Gloria, you’re my imagination and I won’t let it come undone”

The reflective yet expansive and lovely ballad “In The Meantime” is currently experiencing well-deserved airplay on Canadian radio and the perfectly soaring pop masterpiece “Better Than” should be next. These are songs all women can relate to and seek solace in. “If Your Mind Changes” is a heartfelt roots rocker that Dolly Parton would have been proud to write and “What’s So Great About Her?” is a wonderfully clever, saucy dig at the mystery of celebrity no-brains, no-talent that is Paris Hilton:

“What’s so great about her?
What’s so great about a tight ass,
Sweet rack, flat ab, beautiful girl?
What’s so great about her?
You’d swear she’s in the movies they way she sparkles and shines
You strike up conversation she’s got a pea for a mind
The very same one that’s been making bumps in her bed
I swear to Mom you must be out of your freaking head”

“Pale Moon”, set against the backdrop of a lonesome New York City is an elegant acoustic ballad punctuated by the equally gorgeous violin and Chris White’s favourite “Tears” is a pulsating pop classic about unrequited love. The somewhat tentatively mournful ballad “Peek Thru” is another moving song accentuated with violin and “Anytown” feels as if were written about me and how I feel about Kingston – definitely indication of a successful songwriter. The penultimate track “Robot Eyes” is the most alternative song of this collection with Dayna’s prominent Rhodes and noteworthy lyrics suggesting that as soon as you can have something you won’t want it anymore. Folkyo closes with the sad, slow end of a relationship in “I’ll Go”, a ballad beautifully infused with clarinet, violin, bass and drums.

I love Ms Manning’s music, her style and her lyrics and I look forward with anticipation to the evening she graces Kingston with her presence. Hopefully for us music lovers, that won’t be too far off. -

"Single review - Half The Man"

Manning makes a convincing bid to become the new princess of coffee-house pop with this intelligent acoustic pop strummer. Leaving the task of one-upping the superstar singer/songwriters like sarah McLachlan and Alanis Morissette to others, she makes no pretense of being more than an earnest storyteller with a gift for crafting instantly memorable melodies and empathetic lyrics. And she does so without resorting to self obsessed whining or posturing. In the end "Half The Man" (and the rock-edged tune "My Addiction" on he flipside) has the potential for a far longer shelf life. A perfect programming choice for mainstream rock and triple A stations. - Billboard - USA

"Live Review - Lilith Fair, Toronto"

...In true Lilith fashion, the rained out second stage acts were invited to play under the covers with the big leagues. Lhasa kicked the day off with a unique couplet of folk songs, but it was the follow-up Dayna Manning who won the crowd with more than applause. The Stratford songstress performed a lovely set of four songs from her "Volume One" disc, opening with the video hit "Half The Man" and closing with the entrancing "Walk On The Moon". She may not have the touring miles of Jewel, but she's already surpassed the songstress in the songwriting department. Manning also had no problem outshining Meredith Brooks... - Hour Magazine


"VOLUME 1" Full LP EMI Music Canada, Nettwerk USA
Singles with videos on Much Music - "My Addiction"(Top 20), "Half The Man"
Feature performances By Sean Ono Lennon, Melanie Doane.

Nominated for best new solo artist JUNO award

Nominated for a Canadian Radio Award

Nominated for YTV Youth Achievement Award

"SHADES" Full LP EMI Music Canada
Singles with videos on Much More Music - "Miracle", "Springtime"
Feature performances by Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith, CSNY bass player Bob Glaub. Produced by GRAMMY award winner Jim Scott.

"FOLKYO" Full LP - LeParc Records. Dist: Festival
Singles - "In The Meantime", "What's So Great About Her?"
Featured performances by Emm Gryner, MGB drummer Ian Browne, Kevin Fox.


Brewed Awakenings
Lilith Fair Live
Thomas The Tank Engine Movie Soundtrack
Better Than Chocolate Movie Soundtrack
Folk On The Road Compilation
Women and Song 6
Women and Song Christmas
Christmas At Home EMI



Dayna is a mesmerizing performer who has recently become one of Canada's top, completely independent artists. Releasing records on her own label, managing her own business and writing instantly memorable tunes, she is a perfect choice, solo or with an ensemble, to entertain your audiences. Many people are unaware of her remarkable ability to capture an audience completely on her own. Most only know her for her powerful voice, but her guitar skills are what keeps Nelly Furtado's and Jacksoul's guitar players showing up at her Toronto shows to watch how fast she can pick a guitar. Jim Scott (Engineer, Producer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty) and Bob Glaub (Bass player, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstant) both regard Dayna as one of the best acoustic players they have ever worked with. Affordable, your show will have more bang than your buck should have got you.

Folkyo Album BIO
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Dayna Manning is back with her most delightful record to date. Folkyo is an uplifting and powerful collection of 12 folk-pop-rock songs, impeccably written and exquisitely co-produced by Manning herself. Dayna contributes everything from bass to banjo on the record, along with her usual guitar and piano duties. Prior to Folkyo, Dayna released two albums through EMI Music Canada: her critically acclaimed and Juno nominated Volume 1 and its lush artistic follow-up Shades. Now Folkyo will usher Dayna into a new era. Folkyo marks Dayna’s first release on her brand new, self-owned label LeParc Records. “This project was challenging. Not only have I overseen almost every aspect of Folkyo’s writing, production and release, I had to start a record label, build my own studio and spend the past winter working on the Canadian Pipeline to take it across the finish line.” – Pipeline? That’s right.

The Stratford Ontario born singer lived in an on site oil and gas camp in northern BC for most of the 2006 winter. “I loved it actually. One of my favorite shows of all time was when we decided to put on a concert in the rec hall at camp, no mics. Everyone there knew me as the office clerk. It was exhilarating to be able to surprise peers with my guitar playing and songs. There were 200 people staying at the camp and I sold 50 cds that night!” It was a far cry from her usual gigs. Dayna has shared stages with Burton Cummings, Radiohead, 54:40, Joe Cocker, and toured on Lilith Fair. Her records feature impressive guests, such as Sean Ono Lennon and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Folkyo is a journey through Dayna’s travels, friends and experiences. “I have never felt more Canadian or more compelled to put a line about a pickup truck in one of my songs until I had worked on the pipeline”, says Dayna, referring to the almost country sounding “If Your Mind Changes”. Dayna penned the outrageously funny, pop-punk meets Elvis Costello influenced “What’s So Great About Her?” immediately after watching Paris Hilton’s television show ‘Simple Life’ for the first time. But she admits that it’s the pop ballad “In The Meantime” that seems to get everyone, guessing that people relate, because everyone knows what it feels like, “When you’re at home on the couch just waiting for that potentially special someone to call.” Over all Folkyo contains a lot of heart, imagination, and a little something for everyone. “I seem to be receiving the best response to Folkyo out of all my records. I’m really proud of it.”

Dayna would absolutely love to speak with you about Folkyo, life, pipelining, etc.
Please contact or Sean Surerus @ 250 263 9394