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Dan Wilson announces new album, credits MN oldies radio with shaping his sound

Dan Wilson wants someone like you to hear his new album.

Dan Wilson wants someone like you to hear his new album. Photo by Noah Lamberth.

Why should Dan Wilson write a batch of new songs for his latest album when he's already written so many well-known ones that he hasn't recorded?

On August 4, Wilson will release Re-Covered, featuring his versions of some tunes you probably already know, such as “Someone Like You,” which he wrote with Adele, and “Not Ready to Make Nice,” written with the Dixie Chicks.

Wilson, of course, started his career in his native Minnesota with cherished '80s college rockers Trip Shakespeare, then went on to form alt-rock charttoppers Semisonic. For years, he's been writing with really super-famous people like Taylor Swift, but Re-Covered also features a song he wrote with his brother (and former bandmate) Matt.

In a terrific Salon interview with Wilson yesterday, when Annie Zaleski asked how he manages to cross genres between rock, pop, and country so easily, Wilson credited his MN upbringing.

"When I grew up, my family spent the summers up in northern Minnesota," Wilson said. "We went fishing and swimming, and lived on our 14-foot boat, and our dock, and in the water and in the woods. And we listened to KOZY radio, which was one station that you could receive up there at the time. They played a mix of oldies, oldie pop songs and oldies and current country hits. And it made perfect sense at that time, in the ’70s and early ’80s, for a rural radio station to play both pop and country of the last 25 years, because it all was mushed together more."

For a taste of what you'll get, here's Wilson, accompanied by the Kronos Quartet, performing “Someone Like You,” a ballad so passive-aggressive you could tell a Minnesotan had a hand in it.

And here he is with “Home,” written with and originally recorded by Dierks Bentley, a smart, warm patriotic country anthem that won't make non-jingoists gag.

Here's the full tracklist, along with each song's co-composer and/or original performer:

1. All Will Be Well (Gabe Dixon)
2. Home (Dierks Bentley)
3. You and I (John Legend)
4. Someone Like You ft. Kronos Quartet (Adele)
5. Never Meant To Love You (Cory Chisel)
6. Not Ready To Make Nice (Dixie Chicks)
7. Landing (Matt Wilson)
8. Treacherous (Taylor Swift)
9. Borrowed (LeAnn Rimes)
10. Your Misfortune (Mike Doughty)
11. When The Stars Come Out (Chris Stapleton)
12. If I Walk Away (Josh Groban)
13. Closing Time (Semisonic)