Songs Dissolved In The Dawn is one of the most intriguing pop albums of 2013, and it's a shame I must say that retroactively.
Electric Sound Continuum is a Greek jazz-pop outfit with an ear for buoyant melodies and breathy instrumentation. The band lists their inspirations as Beach Boys, XTC and Henry Mancini, among others, and it shows in the arrangements. Loose enough to allow the fun stuff in (undulating synth lines, the fleeting notes of the flute, musique concrete, etc.) but without the saccharine stuff getting all over.
The tracks often go through a revolving door of vocalists, and lyrics alternate between Greek and English. Whatever language, it's all affecting. It's easy to lose yourself in a daydreaming fantasy while a man's echoed voice tells you of "deep sea monsters and bright star clusters." Or perhaps you'd be more interested in a chanteuse listing off the sights she spies on a summer day? It's all there for your entertainment.
And entertaining indeed is the album, with delicate guitar patterns and an ample assortment of delightful sound effects. The beat in "Bossa for the Duplicate Moon" is built almost entirely off of a clownish assortment of synth blips that make perfect sense once the bass line and flute notes enter the track. "Dina" is the most progressive track on the album, layering electronic oscillations carefully atop each other while skittish percussion attempts to create some semblance of rhythm. The only vocals come in the form of a jazzy baritone, who simply sighs "So nearly free / In sunshine, sunshine, sun." The end result is something akin to a Black Moth Super Rainbow cut.
The sunny experimentation doesn't always work though; "Nova Scotia I" is one of those silly sonic experiments that chokes on its own cuteness, "Midnight Transmission" is a dull experiment in cricket samples and the final track, "Andromeda's Waltz," seems more like a lukewarm reception with its musique concrete backing and tepid guitar playing. "After the Winter" is far more lush, replete with flute, heavy male vocals, flirtations with spoken word and snow-light percussion.
Albums like these remind me of why I want to review music in the first place, to bring attention to artists who deserve more attention.
2/25/2014 12:00:34 am
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