This acoustic track from Mangan's sophomore album Nice, Nice, Very Nice
is a fan favorite among fans and is his most requested song.
In our 2016 interview with Mangan
, he revealed the impact this tune has had on people. "It's amazing that song," he said. "I can't tell you how many times I've talked to someone around 50 who just buried a senior citizen parent. At the merch table after the gig, they're talking about how that song was a cathartic song for them to hear. It's totally amazing.
The most rewarding possible thing that a songwriter or an artist of any kind can experience is to hear firsthand from the mouth of somebody else that they don't know the weight or gravity or intensity that something they've made has brought out in somebody else's life. It's simultaneously flattering and humbling. It makes me so thankful that I've been so lucky to be able to do this work.
With all of the people in the world and all of the suffering and all of the things that people are forced
to do for lack of other alternative, the fact that I had a subsidized education and got to go right into a life of playing music for a living, what a stupidly fortunate place to be. And then to be able to experience reading that kind of letter written to you over Facebook or talking to people after a show, it makes you feel very small in the universe in a really powerful way. It's beautiful. It's the most rewarding thing."
This tune was a crucial moment for Mangan when he started writing songs. It was the first time he felt like he had found his own voice through experimenting with breaking form instead of just emulating the artists he loved.
Mangan told us about that pivotal occasion: "Coming through the lyrics of 'Basket' and getting through that song and writing it, I thought, 'I don't know any modern songwriters who have written a song like this song.' That was a big pat on the back. Like, 'Cool. I think I just did something that's me.'"
He continued, "Of course, I'm influenced in a million different ways by a million songs that I've heard and digested, but that was one of the first times I thought to myself, 'I feel like I have infused this song with not just the words of the songwriting world.' I haven't just regurgitated another song for the sake of writing a song.
It was the first time I thought, 'I feel like my brain is on display. I feel like I have aptly through the socially understood medium of song taken an idea that was in my brain and articulated it in a way that no one else could have.' It was a powerful moment to feel like you're not just participating in the world of song. You are actually using the world of song to be you."