Reviews:: Canon Blue Halcyon EP

We reviewed Daniel's (aka Canon Blue) debut record earlier in the year. Colonies was a strong effort, filled with lots of ups and only a few downs, so it was great to get his new EP in the mail.

No, we aren't special, as the good people at Rumraket are giving this four track EP away for free. Usually - well before the R@diohead threw everyone a curve - free music was reserved for bands that had no fan base. Now it is a way of life, and as a result artists like Canon Blue have the chance to get heard.

Halcyon comes in at a crisp 17 minutes, and none of that time is wasted. The EP seems to be Dan's transition from ambient, atmospheric backings to more organic pop melody (which is a natural evolution from songs like Pale Horse) sounds. Luckily, he is able to make that transition without loosing the whimsy and interesting textures he unveiled on his last record. Ennui uses a nice clacking, syncopated rhythm the stabbing strings that appear could be used by almost any hip hop producer. The swirling vocals and rapid fire drum programming that closes the song are an adventurous close to the melodic track, but it really works.

Avatar Furr is an intricate mix of vocal layers, drums, flourishes and strings, but the elements all blend into a head nodding, catchy melody. He still uses tempo changes nicely, but he's more comfortable letting the sounds reveal themselves slowly and have sounds stand on their own.

Daniel's Xmas tune - Halcyon - starts with a mesh of sounds, but quickly changes pace into a beautiful piano driven number. The most noticeable improvement on this track is Dan's voice. It's more powerful, taking center stage and he seems more assured this time around. His voice swells at the right times and the double tracking keeps the song moving until the cymbal wash and plucked strings start the engaging outro.

The EP closes with Kingfisher Sweet, which plays more like a cinematic score than a pop song. The slow drawn strings and piano line battle each other nicely, adding immediacy to the five-minute track. He controls the pace nicely with cymbal washes, chimes and choral oohs. It's a nice closer to the EP, and the four songs really get me excited for his next full-length.
MP3:: Avatar Furr

label :: myspace :: Free download


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