Band Line Up:
Emil Bureau: Guitar/Lead Vocals
Jonas Waaben: Drums
Niels ‘Bird’ Fuglede: Bass Guitar
1. Forever 1969
2. Psychedelic Ranger
3. The Stranger
4. No Chaser
5. Opening Night
6. Circle of Things
7. On the Edge of Our Time
9. The Last Page
10. Love Bird
11. To Change Who We Are
12. Islands in Time
13. Towards the End
Formed in Copenhagen in late 2013, The Sonic Dawn have been on a steady, ascending trajectory since their underground 7″ debut was released on Levitation Records in 2014.
Keeping busy on the live circuit and honing their craft via a pair of albums and extensive Danish tours, the band eventually settled in to record their third full length album at The Village Recording in Denmark – considered by some to be the country’s finest analogue studio.
For Eclipse (released on Heavy Pysch Sounds) The Sonic Dawn have drafted in Thomas Vang (Roger Waters etc) to produce the record and help them select just thirteen cuts from over forty potential songs they had written. Everything was tracked down on to tape. Mastering was completed at by Hans Olsson Brookes (Graveyard) at Svenska Grammofonstudion, with the vinyl master being completed at the prestigious Abbey Road Studios.
This attention to aural detail is significant, because The Sonic Dawn are clearly a band to whom the retrospective, analogue aesthetic is crucial.
Indeed, much of what you need to know about Eclipse can be summarised in the first lyrics of the opening track…
“Forever 1969, Some say that we are out of time.”
From here, the band takes the listener on a groovy trip through a set of gently psychedelic rock and roll tunes that clearly benefit from the decision to capture them on reel to reel. They do sound absolutely gorgeous.
Guitars shimmer over the jazzy pulse of Waaben’s drumming and everything occupies an authentically backdated sound that takes its cues from bands like The Doors, Love, The Electric Prunes or The Quicksilver Messenger Service. When it drives a bit harder it reminds me of British blues rockers The Groundhogs. In any case, such is the integrity of The Sonic Dawn’s approach, you would be forgiven for assuming this is a re-issued version of an underground classic, originally released some time around the Summer Of Love.
The arrangements have been woven into a mellow, stereo tapestry that simmers underneath Emil Bureau’s casual delivery with a cool confidence. There is a gentle touch on Eclipse. The hooks are subtle; there appears to be an emphasis on tone and delivery rather than big choruses or complicated passages. However, there is a warm familiarity that grows with each listen, Opening Night being an example of a song where its cascading refrain sounds like it’s been part of your music collection since forever… probably borrowed from your parents collection of well-loved albums and cassettes.
Actually, in a parallel universe, where Eclipse came out in the appropriate decade, it is entirely likely you were conceived to several of these songs. This music would make a scintillating soundtrack to friendships and lovers. It feels like the background music to a life led with warmth and connection.