Jake Mann + the Upper Hand

Mann and his backing trio are texture aces. The bedrock of Daytime Ghost is laden with fuzzy, 4-track acoustic guitars, and conventional rhythmic support from bass and drums. All this enlivened with narrative by Mann’s Elvis Costello-like voice. The album has a reacquainted feel, similar to finding buried vinyl, and a sound that wallows in lo-fi, vintage production. Further influencing the nostalgia, Daytime Ghost clutches on to classic Americana inspiration — the vagabond — suggesting that it’s an album that seems created for road music. – West Coast Performer Magazine

Drawing from indie rock sounds and songwriter senses, Jake Mann’s music chases a haunting tune through the degraded landscapes, late night reveries, and lost affairs of a smart small town. Arranged for quartet, the overdriven guitar and drums lay a foundation for crooning vocals, melodic basslines, and understated leads.

Jake came up as a songwriter in the microcosmic scene of Davis California, forming flatland-pop outfit The Zim-Zims in 2002 to bring his 4-track recordings to the live stage. He worked out compositions over 3 years of shows in California and two independent releases (s/t full-length, 2003 & Go Where You Are EP, 2004). After completing the Solo Electric EP in 2005 and relocating to San Francisco, Jake joined up with Crossbill Records and completed Daytime Ghost; collaborating in the studio and on-stage with Payam Bavafa (Sholi), Garrett Pierce (solo, 60-Watt Kid), Jen Grady (The Waxfire, You Are Plural), Adam Aaronson (The High Speed Scene), and Andy Lentz (Mad Cow String Band, Alkali Flats).

“Daytime Ghost doesn’t fall into the traps that so many solo artists do. Balancing the density of a full band work with the unique vision of a single authorial voice, the album is a strong, engaging work definitely worth checking out.” – The Bay Bridged

“The new record is a real smart-rock charmer, the kind of road-trip soundtrack that deepens and gets better with repeated playing. Beginning with his former band the Zim-Zims, Mann has come across as the perfect NorCal analogue to some of greater New York’s finer post-Velvet combos, both as a narrative songwriter and as a guitarwielding texturalist. Here he’s provided a cornucopia of sonic film footage. Ever see that haunting video of someone’s motorcycle trip to Prypiat, near Chernobyl? Daytime Ghost would provide a perfect complement to that.” – Sacramento News + Review