Album review by Glitterbitch

Quaint ink illustrations of country life and bygone days adorn the seemingly hand crafted green sleeve to The Dawn Chorus’ debut album The Big Adventure. The smell and the touch of the paper alone are enough to give a strong indication of the contents within yet even though the very first Dylan-esque chord that rings out suggests that a simple English folk record is to follow there is, in fact, something far more interesting awaiting.

An early indication of the album’s struggle between dreams and reality, hope and loss, joy and sorrow can be found in the poignant, personal and poetic words that are sung so beautifully by Kyle Euans on the self titled The Big Adventure – Part 1: “I am touching the clouds with each step that I take/But I’m moored on dry land/I’m stuck where I stand”. Even though a sombre tone underlies the melody there is also reason to feel optimistic and find inspiration in the final words of the song: “and if I never find my way back home at least I’ve found my Neverland”. There is no time to lament this thought, however, as the mood shifts instantly, as it often does throughout the record, with the arrival of Part 2, an almost remixed full band version of the first stripped, bare and exposed part, complete with rousing horns which bring the album to life.

Debut single 'The Hope Will Kill Us All' quickly follows and takes us on another completely different journey, removing the listener from the comforting sounds of strings, piano and horns into more edgy depths with dark and dirty guitars leading in a modern indie-folk anthem. 'Come On Home' bounces along like classic English pop from nineties bands such as The Wonderstuff, making you feel that you should be linking arms with the
person next to you and putting your best foot forward on a country barn dance floor. 'She’s Like An Angel' will similarly have you dancing and singing the infectious chorus even when you are hearing the song for the first time.

In between these glorious and uplifting moments lo-fi intermissions reminiscent of Sparklehorse give a reminder of the humble beginnings of the
band and the difficulties of finding a path between a normal life and high musical aspirations. This theme reaches fulfilment in the simple line “I can be anything in song” which shows the adoration that is felt for music and the
fact that it has become a friend in dark times.
Although the wistful and sorrowful lyrics, with their reference to death, regret and longing, often create a sinister undertone to the album this is as quickly juxtaposed by the hope and promise that this can be overcome, even
death, through dreaming and trying. No more so than at the end of the appropriately titled 'I Can Be Anything' which breaks down to the gentle sound
of an organ and human voices wailing, you can almost feel the grief of the singers until the band pick up the pace once again and with a scream of “sing it” switch the mood, uplift the listener and take us up to the heights with them because The Big Adventure is as much an emotional voyage and struggle for the listener as it is the band.

Intelligent, honest and beautiful The Dawn Chorus will take you down country lanes in a dark folk past and then lift you up with a modern indie pop rhythm that may at first leave you confused and emotionally drained but overall will provide a rounded cathartic experience which proves that this band have everything needed to pull at our heart strings for years to come.