David Karsten Daniels – Fear of Flying (2008)


As of recent, I’ve been listening a lot to David Karsten Daniels’ album Fear of Flying. If you are a fan of Devendra Banhart, The Bowerbirds, or Wilco, I think you’ll dig his folk sound–It’s unfortunate that such a talented musician hasn’t gotten more exposure. Daniels incorporates a variety of beautiful instrumentals into his songs to make for a lush listening experience.

Fear of Flying released in 2008, and is Daniels’ sophomore album (there have been five albums in all, but this is his second widely available one). My favorite tracks on the album include “That Knot Unties?,” “Martha Ann,” and “Falling Down.” The first track on Fear of Flying, “Wheelchairs,” quickly reveals the theme of the album: fear of growing old.

What I respect so much about Daniels’ music is similar to what draws me to some other folk musicians, particularly The Shivers. Like Shivers frontman Keith Zarriello, he isn’t willing to compromise his art to make an easily recognizable hit song, though he is clearly capable of producing one. Listening to his albums, it’s apparent that with a little self-restraint, Daniels sculpts his music to fit his messages. Most artists compose their music to be instantly gratifying, while Daniels often uses build ups, and with a little patients, it’s extremely rewarding.

David Karsten Daniels is from Seattle, though his website bio says he “has lived in too many places to really be from anywhere.” It goes on to say, “He currently resides in Ashland, Oregon with his lovely wife and schizophrenic pet rabbit [editors note: you have to watch out for those schizophrenic pet rabbits]” Although Daniels debut, Sharp Teeth, was widely overshadowed when it came out in 2007, it got critical acclaim from those who did hear it. His two main albums have been released on FatCat recordings and were recorded at his home.

Fear of Flying (2008):

David Karsten Daniels – That Knot Unties?

David Karsten Daniels – Martha Ann

Sharp Teeth (2007):

David Karsten Daniels – American Pastime

David Karsten Daniels – Jesus and the Devil

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