8/10 Clinton Staff review, 22 November 2012
Dakota Suite are nothing if not prolific these days. Its hard to imagine but there was a time not so long ago they didn’t release any albums at all. This one comes in the usual distinct and beautiful packaging but the music contained within is much more varied than their recent output and has the feel of more of a compilation of material from through the ages. Opener ‘I See Your Tears’ for example harks back to the Red House Painters influenced sound that they produced on early records such as ‘Signal Hill’ with gorgeous guitar lines washing over strummed acoustics. ‘If You’ve Never Had To Run Away’ features beautiful piano and murmured vocals, the kind of sound that was found on their previous album ‘The Side of Her Inexhaustible Heart‘ but with lovely brushed drums giving the song a feel of the later Talk Talk or Bed.
Although the sound is resolutely downbeat, the songs are much more ‘band’ type songs rather than the neo-classical-like music they have produced in recent years. It is, of course, resolutely downbeat and melancholy yet here and there are chinks of sunlight. The sun dappled acoustic guitars or ‘Lumen’ are a real joy to behold, its an utterly gorgeous tune and almost, dare I say it, uplifting. We may have to wait awhile for their ‘disco’ album but between the melancholy there are some real examples of the band stretching out and working in a slightly more electronic field.
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