London – With critical approval and a diehard fan base on board, the English duo of Adam Pickering and Paula Walker aka The Daydream Club has carried one of those “hotly tipped” mantles for some time. The release of Lux should find the recently married couple pitched on the verge of a bigger breakthrough, with wedlock having cemented a closeness that verges on telepathy when applied musically. On Lux, the happy couple take stock of its career to date, making this compilation of four new songs, seven previously released tracks, and the duo’s highly individual remixes of ten of the tracks a perfect introduction for anyone new to its music. And so, The Daydream Club has created what, in old money, you’d call a double album. Well, it would look like a double album if available in physical form, but Lux is simply a digital release.
The digital audience is clearly of growing importance for self-financed independent artistes, and if you check out The Daydream Club on Spotify you’ll find some surprisingly high numbers that knock spots off many major label acts. Whatever the duo is doing, it’s clearly working and has led to it being shortlisted for Best Digital Artist at The Music Ally Awards, alongside the likes of The 1975. In case you think all this has gone to Adam Pickering and Paula Walker’s heads, the new song that opens the album – “Mightier” – is no empowerment piece, but rather, it directly plays with “the pen is mightier than the sword” adage and affirms hope in a world that challenges that notion daily: “Light up the dark / Let the sword depart.” Musically, it sees the duo’s signature delicacy allied to a stirring build, as hammered guitar strings create a drone effect against which plucked strings and sparse chords are resolved by guitar power chords and resonant percussion, as the chorus kicks in.
It’s followed by “I Am,” which signals a change of mood, beginning as a livelier piano and drums led workout, yet still showcasing the duo’s flawless harmonies, especially in the unexpected acapella choruses. Paula generally takes the lead vocal, but Adam’s voice is ever present adding soft and always apposite counterpoint. The songs on the first half of the album build on the duo’s essentially indie-folk sound, with new ones, like the excellently crafted “Mountain,” being more episodic in nature and facilitating a fascinating range of moods.
Both “Found” and “Home From Home” see The Daydream Club closer to the territory erstwhile occupied by The Civil Wars; the former trading strident guitar, with brisk percussion and assertive harmonies where self-doubts are met by positive resolution: “If I am strong and I am proud, then I am found.” The latter song has a classic, country feel with a goodly dose of soul and quite exceptional harmonies. Throughout the album you are struck by how clear and direct the band conveys its sentiments.
A paean to finding your one true love, “Saltwater” is another example of how lyrically the duo can tell it like it is with striking simplicity: “You are salt and I the water / And now we are the ocean / We move in fluid motion.”
There is also equally a timeless quality to The Daydream Club’s music. “Soundwaves Of Gold” has the classic feel of an early Simon & Garfunkel cut, while the exquisite “Remember Me,” a perfect juxtaposition of how the pain of losing a loved one can be displaced by the joy of memories, is carried by a beautiful guitar melody, befitting to the subject. The arresting instrumental track, “The Musician,” then closes act one before you hit the remixes – all of which add something new and different to the duo’s expansive palette, employing heavier beats, electronica and myriad invention. For example, read Summer Camp for “Saltwater.”
Lux is an album that’s every bit as big as its twenty-one songs, yet it can wrap arms around you in its intimacy and plainly receptive sentiments.
Tony’s great passion in life is music and nothing gives him more pleasure than unearthing good, original new music and championing independent musicians. His association with Best New Bands brings great opportunities for this. He also writes for Consequence of Sound and is a judge for Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition.
Latest posts by Tony Hardy (see all)
- New Bands At Glastonbury: Haim, London Grammar And More - June 28, 2017
- New Bands At Glastonbury: Father John Misty, Alt-J & More - June 26, 2017
- New Bands At Glastonbury – George Ezra – Royal Blood & More - June 25, 2017