The Many Hands
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The Many Hands

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States
Band Rock EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""...suddenly something startling was happening, and the audience noticed it.""

"Mr. Daniels hollered those lines from Thoreau's "Maine Woods" in his loudest and plainest voice, over needling brass fanfares and a slow bass-and-drums groove; suddenly something startling was happening, and the audience noticed it."
- New York Times

""Exuberant, messy and glorious""

Here's how the Internet made an exuberant, messy and glorious new album possible.

David Karsten Daniels is a folky singer-songwriter based in San Francisco. Fight the Big Bull is a nine-piece post-jazz band out of Richmond, Va. When Daniels started writing songs for a new album — songs based on settings of Henry David Thoreau poems — he contacted composer Matthew White, ringleader of the Big Bull.

Online, they spent months trading sketches of arrangements — Daniels imagining country songs, hymns and so on, and White sculpting them for clarinet, saxophones, trumpet, trombones, bass and a cluster of percussion. The man and the band finally met in January for more than a week of rehearsal and recording in Richmond. And then Daniels took the tapes home to mix and master them himself, exchanging notes with White all the way.

The result is I Mean to Live Here Still, a record not quite like anything these artists have devised to date. (You'd be well advised to seek out Fight the Big Bull's All Is Gladness in the Kingdom, released in May, for perspective.) You could approximate it as lush orchestral pop in the tradition of Van Dyke Parks or Randy Newman — if those folks had a house horn section with which to indulge their weirdest weirdnesses.

Across a continent, Daniels, White and the band mixed and matched sounds to the point where genre became irrelevant. Their twangy ballads segue to polyphonic New Orleans jazz ("Though All the Fates"), songs that build from a beautiful chorale to roots-rock and then an improv jam filled with woody percussion ("October Airs" and "On Fields"), slow burns where a single mantra builds, achingly, over the course of eight minutes ("Each Summer Sound"). There are rock beats, swirling flute, "Penny Lane" trumpet, atonal free-jazz solos, jump cuts which explode into colors — all of which serve well-constructed pop songs ("The Funeral Bell," "Die and Be Buried" and so on).

The whole thing buzzes with big ideas — these are Thoreau poems sung over a big band, after all — but they don't feel pretentious. The artistry is too high, and the grooves too interesting. I Mean to Live Here Still will stream here in its entirety until its release on June 22; please leave your thoughts on the album in the comments section below. - NPR

"...a musical polymath..."

"[David Karsten Daniels, songwriter for The Many Hands, is ] a kind of junior Jim O'Rourke, a musical polymath whose records have the potential to spiral off in any or every direction"
- The Wire


The Many Hands - Rising Son (forthcoming Summer 2012)



The Many Hands are a brand new 5 piece afro-rock band based in Dallas, Texas led by Fat Cat Recording artist David Karsten Daniels. The band's blend of afrobeat, flamenco, pyschedelic rock, dub and dance music is realized by a 5 (wo)man team including modified electric guitars (to emulate mbiras), re-imagined auxiliary percussion/drumsets (cymbals, bells, trash on drum heads, multiple cymbals mounted atop each other, etc), tiny scratchy guitar amps and a multitude of delay pedals, samplers, and computers. All this gear is used exclusively in the service of playing exuberant and hypnotic pop songs.