Hark, the colours are singing from the trees and from the streets, coming alive from the pages of a long-forgotten tome and cascading into each other in ways even the most lysergic of trips could only dream. In your ears the music seduces in every conceivable language and the dawn reaches out to banish the dangers of the night, extending itself to embrace our fellow kin. The air is lush and soft to the touch – it slips through the cracks of a stone-cold universe to permeate the other side with dulcet tones and ageless wisdom. When the magic begins you may experience a different evocation but rest assured the spellbinding majesty of The Sonic Dawn’s third opus Eclipse will leave its mark ingrained within your reality long after the record ceases to spin.
Much unlike its binary black-&-white of its cover Eclipse is as vibrant and radiant an album could possibly be. Riding on a kaleidoscope of technicolour love, the 13 songs unfurling from within the wax blossom on plenty of ’60s vibrations to make even The Grateful Dead jealous. Whilst The Sonic Dawn have been building a reputation of honest and meticulous manifestations of that era’s psych rock since their inception – 2015’s Perception and 2017’s Into the Long Night – this is by far their most accomplished exhibition of hallucinogenic reverberations yet – a cosmic trajectory through time until it reaches its own sonic nirvana, and oh lord does it reach nirvana! As soon as the play button clicks down this wisks you away to another state of mind, melting the dreary exterior of the real world and gliding by your side as it envelopes all around you with its rich multidimensional textures. Hyperbolic? Absolutely not.
Whilst many bands clone themselves to the music until no personality is left, The Sonic Dawn inject enough of themselves into it this time around to separate themselves from the past: telling stories of a ruinous twenty-first century and of their own tragedies makes this one hell of a personal effort. These compositions feel mastered, lived – whether they are glistening, screeching, or just outright mind-bending – and freakishly immersive; nothing is out of place and, with the average track lasting three minutes, no single second is wasted. It’s difficult to single out any examples, each is a fully flourishing tendril of the greater whole, but to leave out the shimmering airiness of ‘Opening Night’, the breathing soundscapes dwelling within ‘To Change Who We Are’, or the straight-up rock flares of ‘Psychedelic Ranger’ and ‘No Chaser’ would be calamitous. There is a cause for jubilation as each track feeds into another.
This is one of those records you just never wish to end – ever. A slab of music as high-calibre as this deserves to be replayed long into the night to see the rise of a new day and beyond. It is staggering to witness how far the trio of Emil Bureau, Jonas Waaben, and Neils ‘Bird’ Fuglede have come in such a short span of time; their growth is as otherworldly as the dimensions Eclipse transports you to and you cannot help but chase further. Despite its early release this is assuredly the psychedelic experience to top for 2019.