Dawn to Dawn's 'Postcards from the Sun to the Moon' Is an Intimate Dispatch
Published Oct 05, 2022Dawn to Dawn's debut album Postcards from the Sun to the Moon is a sonic stream of consciousness. The Montreal trio, comprised of musicians Tess Roby, Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee, have crafted a project that may appear short and sweet on the surface — clocking in at only nine songs, it has a quieter presence than some debut statements — but that supports the trio's intimate, hazy vision of dreampop.
With minimalistic lyrics and recurrent tempos and melodies, Postcards from the Sun to the Moon focuses less on telling a complete narrative and more on capturing a specific mood or a moment in time, one that listeners are dropped directly into and gently swept along for the ride.
The band has described the album as "meant to be enjoyed with or without a fixed destination in mind." Mixing provided by fellow Montreal musicians Patrick Holland and Pierre Guerineau help capture this hazy and aimless essence. The wispy synths and otherworldly soft ambience on opening track "Anniversary" sets the tone and serves as a taste of what's to come. "Meridian" follows, and as its title suggests, the song moves in a cyclical motion with its steady electronic drum pattern and hymn-like harmonies. Roby's deep, siren-like vocals are reminiscent of a moodier, darker Enya.
Each song is fluid, moving softly and carefully. The synths and vocals on "Care" sound as though they're being performed from inside a moving car whipping past the listener's ear, making it perfect late-night driving music. That feeling of transformation — of going somewhere new — appears in the lyrical content as well: "Another year, another life / Could be the same, except that I have changed", Roby sings on "Samba." There's an aspect of nostalgia, and of wishing for something better across the album, too. On one of the most minimalistic tracks, "A Colour Named by You," which is only made up of singing and the tinkering of piano and synths, the lyrics "I used to talk to you / Now you leave me still / Lost inside a colour named by you" paints a picture of yearning for something long gone.
The tempo picks up on the seventh and eighth tracks — "Ecology" features hints of IDM and house, while the reverberating beats on "With U" rattle around in your head, exactly what you'd want on a dance floor in a dimly-lit club. "Stereo" is a gentle breeze, glittering with shiny synths about embracing life and getting lost with a special person.
Though the stream of consciousness nature of the album assists listeners in getting into the headspace of the very specific atmosphere it wants to create, it can also be detrimental at times — the repetitiveness ventures into becoming too repetitive, to the point that songs can muddle together and become indistinct from one another, especially on slow burners like the aforementioned "A Colour Named by You," which doesn't vary much dynamically.
Despite this, the band closes the album on a memorable note with the gorgeous "Lanes," described as "an imaginary love story inspired by the ghostliness of British seaside towns." Haunting, tender, drumless and spacey, the project concludes wistfully and feels like being carried to a soft bed at the end of this mindless night out. Though there are moments where Postcards from the Sun to the Moon is sparse in its variety, Dawn to Dawn succeeds in creating the precise disposition and cinematic emotions they wished to bring to life (SSUROUNDSS)