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The Dandelion War is a 5-piece indie rock band, hailing from Oakland, California. This, ‘We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes,’ is their sophomore effort and delivers an album of ethereal, experimental indie tracks with startling accomplishment and beauty.
Opening with atmosphere-setting instrumental ‘Strange Ghosts,’ the album then builds in to ‘Drifters.’ Clocking in at over seven minutes long, one may think that it would drag along but that is just not the case. It is a masterpiece of gradual layering that builds to a joyous crescendo. The euphoric wave of music rivals that of Sigur Ros’ ‘Hoppípolla;’ a band that The Dandelion War borrows a portion of their aesthetic from. The album then meanders joyfully into ‘1848,’ another melodic monster; it is so articulately layered that it tells a definite story, a truly crafted progression.
The echoing Jonsi-esque vocals truly shine in ‘A Different Heav’n,’ a haunting and sparse track. This is truly breathtaking music. Despite the length of songs like ‘A Mi Alrededor,’ they never bore, as you can see the track open up and the narrative progress. Gooey guitars glow through this track as it is led to its’ blissful conclusion. The whole album is characterised by this energy; shimmering vocals and soothing multi-instrumental melodies, drifting along to a self-imposed conclusion without the level of jaw-dropping beauty wilting once. Songs like ‘Bloom’ offer more introspection, but overall the album is one euphoric, extroverted celebratory salute to music.
This is not an album that will be to everyone’s taste. It is not immediately beguiling and takes some repeated listens to fully appreciate. Clocking in at an impressive 55 minutes long, it is definitely not one for the casual listener. It is, however, overpoweringly beautiful, perfectly layered music, and this kind of craftsmanship must be applauded. Complex but utterly euphoric music; let it wash over you and be pleasantly surprised.
'We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes' by The Dandelion War is available now on Deep Elm Records.
Words by Tom White (@WhiteyWitters)