Here are the best records of the year. Not much label diversity here, but that is just how it goes sometimes.
1) Joie De Vivre – We’re All Better Than This (Count Your Lucky Stars)
2) Dowsing – It’s Still Pretty Terrible (Count Your Lucky Stars)
3) Dikembe – Broad Shoulders (Tiny Engines)
4) Dads – American Radass (this is important) (Flannel Gurl)
5) State Faults – Desolate Peaks (Tiny Engines)
6) Best Practices – The EP LP (Tiny Engines)
7) Suis La Lune – Riala (Topshelf)
8) You Blew It! – Grow Up, Dude (Topshelf)
9) Beach House – Bloom (Sub Pop)
10) The Dandelion War – We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes (Deep Elm)
It seems like the longer I do this blog, the farther I get away from what people would consider “punk.” I deal with a whole bunch of post-(insert genre) bands and records. I find most of these releases to be more interesting than a lot of other things. The Dandelion War is one such band.
We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes is a fine example of, I guess, post-rock. It is full of lush instrumentation. It is a record of space. Instead of coming at the listener, it invites the listener to get lost in the atmosphere. This is the strongest part of it. The Dandelion War provide an escape. Everyday life is full of distractions and a million things happening at once, so there is a lot to be said for getting lost in the music.
While it would be easy to pigeon hole this band as one of many genres, it doesn’t quite seem fair. There is a pop sensibility, but dream pop doesn’t quite work. There are plenty of effects, but it doesn’t get as dense as shoegaze. In the same way that Sigur Rós can mix and match, so too does this band. If you pull out your ambient rock bingo card, there is a little bit of everything involved.
All genre buzzwords aside, this album is great. Emphasis on album. While most bands are content to throw 13 potential singles together and call it a full length, The Dandelion War have clearly worked to make this a cohesive album. This might make it hard to single out a few songs as standouts, but it makes the end product so much better. Even coming in just this side of an hour, We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes never overstays it’s welcome. It is ambient, inviting, and moving.
The Dandelion War
Stream/Buy It (Bandcamp)
Buy It (Physical)