BAND OF THE WEEK: THE DANDELION

13 Nov

Considering the strange case of The Dandelion is made all the more strange given that the name of their debut disc is “The Strange Case of The Dandelion,” and the strangest thing happened when we The Dandelion flowered: we fell instantaneously in love with their songs.

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Not to turn The Dandelion into “The Thin Red Dandelion,” but to paraphrase (read: hijack) a few turns of a phrase …

What is this? This great love.

Where does it come from?

How’d it steal into the world?

What seed, what root did it grow from?

Who’s doin’ this?

Who knows? It’s strange.

It’s not that the music planted by The Dandelion is so strange – in many ways, it strikes our ears not as not nearly as strange as it is comforting, familiar even. Which in itself is very, very strange. Throughout “The Strange Case,” and beginning with the lead-off mood-setter “Strange Case Opening,” we’re treated to a reunion with old friends: fuzzy guitars, brilliant bass lines, Farfisa-fueled “She’s About a Mover” flashbacks, fluttering flutes, and vaguely Eastern melodies and vocal lines, all snaking together in to a single, coherent, whole.

And hooks. So many hooks. Those sing-able, hummable, memorable hooks. We’re not made of stone. We love hooks.

Take, as just one example, the song “I Turned On As You Turned Around.” This is an unavoidable, undeniable top-ten hit in our imaginary universe. Compact in size, massive in impact, the song is not necessarily stoned, but beautiful (and high as living fuck), with a central hook that pierced the brain of these apes with minimal effort – all phasers set to stunning.

In just under thirty-six minutes, these thirteen tales of Australian bohemia never overstay their welcome, which lends to repeat multiple listens, or perhaps multiple repeat listens. Whatever the case – we’re madly in love with these songs.

There’s “Here Comes Love,” easy riding on an easy riff, over-modulated and adorned with accents of flute and Farfisa, all dancing madly with each other, jubilant that they’ve found each other.

There’s “Leaving It Behind Blues,” featuring a moaning ghost of a harmonica, blowing for all the world as if it has indeed been left behind, before the song merges into the delicate, miniature, three-king-fishers-in-a-tea-cup grandeur that is the “Medlar’s Wisdom” interlude.

There’s “All Seeing Eye Wisdom,” which dares ask the musical question, “It’s the all-seeing eye, just always around / does it look you up or find us out? / Or could it be something that we never thought about before?” Our immediate response: Play that song again.

Strangely enough, that was also our response upon hearing what may be our favorite song on the disc, “Pleiadian Love Vibration.” Maybe. Maybe our favorite song on the disc. Maybe our favorite song of the year. Certainly one of our favorite song titles of the year (challenged only by The Dandelion song that follows, “Borderline Originality Disorder” and, it bears mentioning, “Maybe We Could Meditate Together or Something” by the mighty Strange Forces. But we digress).

Thirteen songs in thirty-six minutes. Not a wasted moment, and they’re ALL wasted moments. It’s brilliant. It’s strange. It’s love.

“The Strange Case of the Dandelion” is not only out, but apparently sold-out. Listen to it online here and pray for a reprint. Meanwhile, a six-song EP is expected in the near future, courtesy of Bad Afro Records.

“One experience ends, the next begins, but nothing really changes. We’re still packed inside that cosmic seed together. We simply have a little more room to breathe. But don’t worry: we’re coming back together. Each day, we’re getting closer and closer to the source, and each other. Try to not be afraid, and I’ll try along with you. Let’s practice the dark celebration of mourning, and release, on the cushion and in our lives. We are part of a process, and eventually the momentum, like the inhale or exhale, will shift the other way. Perhaps death is merely the negative image, or reverse process, of life. The same thing heading the opposite way. One universe, differently emphasized.” – Shozan Jack Haubner

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