Dawn Golden - Still Life - LP Vinyl

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Batch, Album, Artist, Format,


Still Life
Dawn Golden
12" Vinyl


As one half of dream pop duo Houses, producer/songwriter Dexter Tortoriello co-created lush and often haunting tracks with his creative partner, Megan Messina. The pair's songs often employed electronic elements, but retained a certain organic feel even in their most programmed moments. Working alone as Dawn Golden, Tortoriello doesn't stray completely from the hushed, heavy tones of Houses, but presents his tunes with a far more stark, minimally electronic approach. Debut album Still Life follows 2011 EP Blow and was recorded over the course of three years at producer Diplo's Mad Decent studio, Tortoriello working in close proximity to the star-studded beatmaker and absorbing some of his production sheen on Still Life. Though a far cry from the radio pop that was getting made nearby during the recording of the album, its songs have some subtle similarities, such as the relentless bass pulse and highly treated vocals of "I Won't Bend" and the minimal hooks of "All I Want." The muted R&B tones of the album have much in common with contemporaries like Rhye, employing the same backwards-looking influence of soulful '80s wonders like Sade and the Blue Nile but passing it through a stripped-down filter of bedroom electronics and futuristic beats. Distorted beats, heavy vocal editing, and spare, unprocessed piano make up some of the album's best moments, such as the restless and desperate churn of "Swing" as well as the somber title track. The album's ten songs amount to a deeply melancholic study in electronic textures meeting disparaging sentiments, but isn't a complete downer. Instead, Dawn Golden merges crushing emotional currents with innovative production for a debut that's bold and crisp, if somewhat harrowing in its darkest moments.
A1 Discoloration 3:45
A2 All I Want 3:34
A3 Sleight Orchestra 3:53
A4 I Won't Bend 3:51
A5 Swing 5:36
B1 The Beekeeper 3:10
B2 Still Life 3:19
B3 Chevrotain 4:10
B4 Last Train 3:43
B5 Brief Encounter 5:23