Saturday, March 2, 2013

ALBUM// Dagars: Dagars

Within the first ten seconds of their eponymous debut, Dagars declare that "you've got to keep your head up to survive". Sure, the line might simply be encouraging self-confidence, but somehow the meaning runs deeper. In an age when just about anyone can create music, this Texan trio realise, I think, the need for experimentation. They're swimming in a veritable sea of talent, and in order to get noticed they have to, in effect, stick their necks out the water. It's an admirable ethos, and one that ultimately pays off.

The riff-driven opening track leads perfectly into the warm electronic winds of 'Dirty Earth'. Dowsed in reverberation, the vocals saunter and sway through a semi-psychedelic smog, complimented by the fantastic bass playing. They plead and yearn, offering advice but never appearing pretentious or self-important. Instead, they are wholly unassuming, carried atop gloriously refined instrumentation. The somewhat melancholic music is allowed to soar absent vocals in 'Subconscious Depictions', the post-rock gem acting as a prelude to the awe-inspiring mid-album epiphany that is 'Seven'. Zach Howard's singing is nothing short of glorious, slipping infrequently into a falsetto that retains such emotion and anguish you cannot help but stop and listen.

The post-rock sensibility of 'Anhedonia' and the progression from bombastic to reflective in 'A Pointless Dialogue' both precede the ultimate number 'Sunday Mornings', the final, heart-rending notes of which are a spine-chilling conclusion to a stunning debut album. Sure, some of the tracks might be a little forgetful, but that's due in no small way to the utter brilliance of others. The balance of loud and quiet is struck effortlessly, and each of your heartstrings is lovingly plucked, with envious prowess!