This is a soothing album yet, paradoxically, it's full of dystopic worries of a man whose view of the world has shifted since becoming a father for the first time.
The lyrics of the Vancouver-based artist's fifth album centre on domestic concerns rather than global issues and they portray a man aware of how easy it is to drift into a comfortably numb routine.
Mangan sings of keeping up appearances and following the social graces but also of fears that things may be getting a little too cosy and settled for comfort. A sense of weariness is apparent in ostensibly genial songs like Just Fear ("every road feels travelled") and Lay Low ("tired of the same old").
Suggesting a state of mild confusion bordering on blind panic, he says "I wrote about warmth. I wrote about the feeling of building something when I was young, and the fear of losing it as an adult. I wrote about feeling overwhelmed. I wrote about the power of what goes unsaid."
If all this sounds a bit heavy, then rest assured that there's nothing here that a listener will find unduly jarring or difficult. Perhaps this is also a weakness; uncertainty and fear shouldn't really be so polished as this.
Dan Mangan's website