Sunday, January 24, 2021
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ELWD: Dandelion

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Artist: ELWD
Title: Dandelion
Format: Tape & Digital Download
Label: Bad Taste
“Dandelion” is introduced as “an abstract beat tape made during lockdown”, and it’s certainly the sound of the lazier Summer lockdown that’s behind us, not the colder Winter lockdown in front of us. Apparently over the Summer ELWD did a lot of work in his garden, and while there’s nothing particularly Gardener’s World about the tunes, tracks like “Poem” are strong throwbacks to the golden days of downtempo and positive trip-hop, perfect for people who still get joy from old Kinobe, Bent and Lemon Jelly albums. Casual acoustic melodies roll over tunes like “Chu” like butter and there’s rich instrumentation, strings and sometimes Groove Armada-ish trumpet work as well.There’s a slightly more determined swagger to tracks like “Greetings”, but it’s no more aggressive than a walk to the shops, and a warm positivity, almost naivety, to tracks like the “Y R Pirates Pirates” (the answer to which is, of course, “because they arrrrrr”). It’s a feel good release, that ends on a high with “Foreverrrr”, defiantly at odds with many people’s moods right now I’d have to say.It’s predominantly instrumental, smattered with a handful of spoken-word samples, though “Hear Me” is a notable interlude thanks to its rather unexpected soul vocal that digs back into ‘80s soul ballad territory and which, frankly, will be too cheesy for some. “Thinking About Mars”’s jazzy vibe manages to toe a much better balance with the arguably clichéd chill out sounds.November seems like an odd time to put out this release, but it could act like a form of aural SAD lamp, providing a window into happier, lazier Summer times for those of us stuck at home in the dark. Try a track out on Spotify (any track will do), and if you like the vibe, then there’s a good chance you’ll connect to the album and it’ll help you see through the Winter.

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