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Deep Elm’s latest signing, The Dandelion War, finds the long-running label further honing its reputation for epic, emotional ambient rock. This California five-piece spent two years on We Were Always Loyal to Lost Causes, and it certainly sounds like it; music this intricate and delicate is not made in a hurry. Comparisons to the atmospherics of Sigur Ros are natural—especially after hearing “Drifters”—but thankfully lead singer Larry Fernandez doesn’t spend his time imitating Jonsi, even though, of course, he has a beautiful voice that’s quite capable of lulling the listener into a heavenly state. What The Dandelion War does differently from other bands making similar-sounding music, though, is that Fernandez has a slight bluesy, country lilt in his voice, one that recalls My Morning Jacket lead singer Jim James. The singing, however, often blends in with the atmospherics, becoming indecipherable, yet adding a beautiful flourish, especially on songs like “The Wanderers and Their Shadows” and the powerful “Stone Castles.” We Were Always Loyal to Lost Causes is an impressive record of powerful beauty.
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