Dan Wriggins (of Friendship)
The EP “Mr. Chill” is Wriggins’ debut release under his own name. Michael Cormier’s minimal production is an open frame; quiet drums in a big room, classical guitar, and melodic organ lift Wriggins’ prose-poem lyrics. His solemn, wounded delivery makes lines like “you trust your gut/and your gut lies” and “read my salty lips/no new love” into deadly serious jokes. Title notwithstanding, “Mr. Chill” isn’t great background music – it’s rich and powerful, demanding attention as a profoundly moving and original work.
“I recorded 14 songs with Brad Krieger at his beautiful studio in Lincoln, RI in October. Mike Cormier played everything but guitar, and some pizzicato plucks on “Yellow Bricks,” courtesy of brilliant pilgrim Lina Tullgren. I didn’t want any bass, so Mike found a humongous kick drum. The five songs that make up “Mr. Chill” hung together best, so I made an EP. The songs are fragmentary. Scenes and images come from memories, dreams, friends, books, lullabies, tv shows, etc. I wanted it to sound, as usual, like Kath Bloom or Vic Chesnutt. Mike was thinking of Glen Campbell. I’ve gotten “hey man, your music is so chill” a lot, and I’m like what the fuck??? I thought it was DIRE.
I wrote the song “Mr. Chill” while working for an arborist/tree care company in the Philly suburbs. The hours were long and strenuous, and like most of my friends, I was balancing full time work with writing music and playing shows. That’s where the clock-punching lyrics come from. This was a couple years ago, and I am only realizing now that “Mr. Chill” might be a Christmas song. It also reminds me of the Disney ride “It’s a Small World.” It’s the only song I’ve written so far that does not rhyme.”