dinsdag 30 mei 2017
Do Not Always See. This Leo Sunrise
This Leo Sunrise is one of the acts released on the Tiny Room Records label. Based in Utrecht, the band describes itself as playing alt.folk/indie rock. Listening to Do Not Always See it seems that I could add a lot of other monikers to these descriptions. But why bother, really?
What I find mostly is that This Leo Sunrise is doing something that has a clear goal: being unique without being so far out of things that it becomes impossible to listen to the music. Things This Leo Sunrise start with acquainting myself with the atmosphere on this mini LP. So don't be surprised to only hear the drummer playing a rather strange rhythm before other band members join. The bass player, one guitar, then a second guitar. By then we're a minute under way. The drummer adds something to his rhythm, filling in the spaces he left before. On 2.00 minutes the singer joins and before long, rhythmic changes define his melody, that the whole band follows. There's mystery involved. The dark sounding violin adds to this mystery. The song is called like the first man, 'Adam'. Listening to the first verse, "like" could be "after". "Letting us fall", seems the crucial line here and so we were kicked out of paradise.
The dark guitar remind me of Neil Young at his darkest, that guitar sound like thunder in the distance, just rumbling on and on. The rhythmic changes in the vocal underscore the message sung. 'Adam' is a different yet quite impressive song.
The mood of 'Adam' continues into 'Shards Of Glass'. I notice the band pulling me into its universe. A universe where violence is just around the corner. A world that is dangerous. Not because of the band itself, but what is outside of the recording studio. The music is laden with uncertainty, with not having control over things. The contrast with the music is so huge. Everything is under control here. This Leo Sunrise knows exactly how to control the mood of its music. Adds exactly the right detail, like the eerie violin in 'Deck Of Cards'. The mood is stretched out exactly right. The fire stoked up at the precise right time in the song to create a great finishing line.
The most remarkable thing about Do Not Always See is that the band keeps up this inner tension within its music. With each song the band is able to do the little extra while remaining ultra cool. Even when the guitar goes apeshit in the corner of the mix, the violin keeps the enfolding drama together with ease. 'Macrocosmopolitans' is the first song that is really brought to a climax, releasing some of the tension that was built up, but not without remaining in control. This Leo Sunrise is the master of its songs. No matter what happens outside, this band knows that it will "sleep under a perfect sky". Some things do not change because of outside effects. The drama of 'Perfect Sky' rests in this line "I love you, but I will never tell". There's no redemption for the "I" in the song, except the one provided by that perfect sky. It becomes worse when the "I" asks to be erased and forgotten. How bad can it become? There's no saving now.
It all ends with more mystery. 'Half Light' is an experiment of dark sounds in the background with an electric guitar that reminds me of the one in Bowie's 'Lazarus'. Haunting and relentlessly whipping the song forwards to whatever is waiting there further on into the song. It simply can't be good. Hell's demons are making these noises. The chaos outside reigns inside now. Until there emerges something soft from deep within, barely noticeable. Hiding so well. It's another guitar. It lifts on the back of the so stable bass towards real attention. The demons are fended off. The half dark transitions into the half light. Will the light win or is it a Pyrrhic victory .....?
With Do Not always See This Leo Sunrise has produced not only a sonic adventure and a piece of musical art, it stirs my imagination for the whole of the record. It's impossible not to see all snippets of all sorts of stories playing themselves out in front of my eyes.
It is the drums that close this beautiful mini album. The circle is round. .No was certainly right. If This Leo Sunrise is able to recreate this music on stage and is able to add that little extra that live shows often deliver, a show ought to be mesmerising. Who knows some time soon?
You can listen to and buy Do Not Always See here: