A grand album of textured melodies and beautiful percussion. There's a slow simplicity to many of the tracks here, with each finding a remarkable depth of feeling within their relaxed and unhurried atmospherics.
Favorite track: A Different Heav'n.
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Ambient post-rockers The Dandelion War from Oakland, California have returned with a stunning batch of lavish, atmospheric songs on their sophomore album We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes. The quintet has broadened their sound, drenching reverb-laden guitars and vocals with bright electronic elements and textures. Album opener Strange Ghosts makes quite a statement, reaching its pinnacle with a barrage of synthesized strings and flourishing Jonsi-esque vocals. However, the band doesn't entirely abandon the traditional approach of building quiet textures into cascades of awesome noise. Drifters is perfect example: beginning with a vibraphone and a voice, the song crescendos into a potent and melodic soundscape of guitars, bass, drums and xylophone. The album also has its more introspective moments: A Different Heav'n and Bloom skip the post-rock dynamic shifting and focus on melody and texture instead. The guitars drone, building a lush foundation for the gorgeous vocals and synth melodies. Overall, The Dandelion War has taken the best of post-rock, ambient indie and shoegaze and created something new that simply captures your attention. For people who enjoy atmospheric music that washes over you, We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes is 55 minutes of bliss...best enjoyed in one long listening session with the volume turned up loud.
"We chose our name based on the obvious extremes...which seemed appropriate for a band that relies so much on contrasting dynamics. There was a time when we considered changing it, but we never found anything we liked better. The phrase was taken from the title of a book by World War II veteran and Oxford graduate Richard Rosenthal. Someday, we'll reach out to Mr. Rosenthal to let him know we exist" says vocalist Larry Fernandez. He continues, "Making this album was a long, slow process. We intentionally went into the studio with unanswered questions about some of the songs. We wanted to experiment with new types of sounds, non-traditional instruments and percussion. We tried things that totally failed and, every now and then, we tried something that was a homerun. The songs tend to be a little slower and quieter than those on our debut Geometries And Orchids, but they show a lot more subtlety, relying on melody, lyrics and instrumentation to convey an emotion. As for the lyrics, they tend to be about challenging situations. The title of the album is a line from Joyce's Ulysses. Showing loyalty to a lost cause means having commitment in the face of hopelessness. On one level, that's sort of a downer, but we also see something redeeming about remaining committed to a lost cause." Guitarist Jeff Kay continues, "Our sound grew out of a common interest in post rock. We love long, epic compositions and huge dynamic swings between ultra quiet and super loud. But by adding vocals and electronics, we've moved away from post rock in a traditional sense. And we don't hide from the fact that we fit into a couple specific genres (ambient, post rock, indie, shoegaze) but at the same time, we believe that we have our own unique sound."
THE DANDELION WAR is Larry Fernandez (vocals), Mikey Fuson (guitar), Jeff Kay (guitar, keyboards), Julius Masibay (drums) and Chris Strebel (bass). We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes was produced by THE DANDELION WAR and Aaron Hellam. The album was recorded, engineered and mixed in early 2012 by Aaron Hellam at Castle Ultimate Studios (Trophy Fire, Picture Atlantic) in Oakland, CA. Nicole Mortimore played violin on A Mi Alrededor. Artwork by Andrew McCormick. The band previously appeared on Chapter 12 of Deep Elm's long-running compilation series The Emo Diaries. In connection with the new album, Deep Elm will simultaneously re-release the band's nine track 2010 debut Geometries And Orchids worldwide. In the past two years, THE DANDELION WAR has toured up and down the west coast, opening for Asobi Seksu, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Imagine Dragons. The band resides a short drive from San Francisco in scenic Oakland, CA...known in particular for MC Hammer, Occupy protests, and the world's best taco trucks.
"A lovely slice of indie rock beauty that resonates in the vocal style...this is floating-on-a-cloud music.” - East Bay Express
"Immersive soundscapes kept constantly engaging and littered with truly evocative, captivating moments." - RockFreaks
"The perfect combo of cinematic and pop sensibilities. Sweet dreams are made of these..." - OurStage
Recommended For Fans of: Moonlit Sailor, Sigur Ros, Explosions In The Sky, Antlers, Appleseed Cast, Dorena
Now with over 225 releases in its catalog, fiercely independent Deep Elm Records continues to build a better label - one
that operates for glory, not gold. Deep Elm is about bands and fans coming together as one and experiencing music's awesome ability to inspire, comfort and console. We're not just making music together, we're making history. We are proud to be 100% independent for 20+ years....more
you slid your hand underneath mine. our fingers. hearts. oh so entwined. but how time quickly passes by. our fingers. hearts. soon came apart. love escaped us like the setting sun. our fingers. hearts. in darkness came undone. love is a setting sun. love escaped us like a setting sun. our love in darkness came undone
Track Name: Stone Castles
throne made of gold, diamonds, and pearls. no king lives forever. weaponry, armor, mighty stone castle. no king lives forever. royal rivals threaten. with tongues of rancor. no king lives forever. they’re hungry for power. thirsty for war. no king lives forever. your kingdom, their target. missiles soon will soar. no king lives forever. forced into battle. you reach for your sword. no king lives forever. you lead your men. into the battlefront (the front). through ground that will soon be. covered in blood (your blood). they fire first. bullet through your heart, their hearts. you lay helpless on enemy ground. unsound. they fire first. bullet through your heart, their hearts. you lay lifeless on enemy ground. uncrowned. sleep soundly now, wretched king. they tricked you into battle. no king, no king lives forever
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Can't recall how I found this release but I'm glad I did. Take whatever mood you're in and by the time you finish listening to this if you aren't left in a reflective, calm and ultimately grateful state about life - seek medical help. Beautiful. DJ Osric