Radio friendly Americana

Dust on the Breakers – American Reclamation

The skinny: Music as a landscape.

The review proper: Imagine an Autumn sunset. The skies are turning mauve and purple. There’s a few shades of red and orange by the departing Sun. And you’re on your way home to your loved ones (in my case, a laptop).

Such are the images that Dust on the Breakers ‘Quiet please’ injects in my head. Images of a sunset after a long day. Whether driving in a lonely desert road in Monument Valley, stuck in the gridlock of Periferico in Mexico City or with your head on the window of a Stagecoach bus in Sheffield, the feeling is the same: an end.

Not a downbeat ending, though, just an end. ‘Charred Metropolis’, on the other hand… well, it ain’t sad either, but it’s not upbeat. It’s a slow song, not as much as ‘Quiet please’ does, but it creeps along, like all the songs from this wonderful EP, American Reclamation. They take their time as they are chunky woolly mammoths of music, crafted by some pretty fine musicians.

The revolving door here has some serious talent involved. With the core trio formed by Jeff Davenport (d.biddle), Tim Husmann ( from Crooked Fingers) and Jeff Linsenmaier (from the extinct The Czars, a particular fave band of mine). More people do come and sit for a chat and to add a few notes to the very layered effort. Super producer Martin Feveryear makes it sound very crisp, giving each layer a lean, slim bit of the sound space.

But let’s go back to the songs. There’s something about ‘Frontiers’, a feeling like nostalgia, very tangible, oozing through from the speakers (or earbuds). The pairing of a female and male voice is almost perfect, passing from a very slocore intro to a poppish break. It goes back into that solemnity and it’s hard to describe in any other words besides “goosebumps”. So I’ll stop writing about it. Now.

‘Quiet please (Redux)’ has little in common with ‘Quiet please’. It’s more akin a piece of musique concrète, with some quick lyrics that inevitably yield into some noisy landscapes. It’s a little hard for the common punter, but if it’s your sort of thing, it’s great. In the other hand, ‘Summer rainstorms’ is arguably the “easier” to digest (check out the mariachi trumpets!). It’s poppier than the other songs but by no means a bad song. Can’t think of any of these ones I would chop out.

I heartily recommend this EP if you like your Americana slow and dreamy. I also seriously suggest you check their Youtube channel (link provided in the links section), where there are a couple of ambient pieces (very dremay ones too) set to found footage. Maybe these too will find their way into a physical release?


About the author: ‘Frontiers’ is the soundtrack to my yearning of being in the passenger seat of a Datsun with my mom driving. This is good.



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