There’s something so unique about Gold Coast trio daste.’s sound; every time you listen to one of their tracks, you’re instantly transported to a calm, comfortable place – even if the song’s quite energetic. There’s a sense of peace that emulates through their melodies and it’s a massive highlight on the band’s debut album ‘dusk&dawn’.
The album takes you on an emotional journey, as we start off in a warmer place, before we head into darker terrain, and end up somewhere vibrant. Each track also flows so well into one another like a wave slowly building, reaching its arc, and then crashing into the sand with effortless power. It feels easy, nothing is forced and the songs are connected through daste’s signature smoothness making ‘dusk&dawn’ so delicious to listen to.
‘dusk’ is a wonderful opening track. It’s a sweet soundscape blending warped synths, light vocals, spacious percussion and lively samples to create the image of life bustling around you as the sun sets. There’s something whimsical about ‘dusk’ that’s then carried over to ‘home for tea’, seamlessly transitioning us into a warmer, welcoming atmosphere.
‘home for tea’ utilises the spacious percussion we heard on ‘dusk’ and pairs it with warped synths that swim around sliding atmospherics. The tempo on this track is a bit faster, but not so fast that it feels rushed. The beat on ‘home for tea’ takes its time and, with the help of some twinkling tones, brings the airy elements of ‘dusk’ down to earth – like ‘dusk’ was almost a daydream, but ‘home for tea’ has woken you up to something that’s not dissimilar to the dream.
After ‘home for tea’, we dive into the deep waters of ‘here with me’, which features the vocals of DVNA. On this track, the tempo has slowed right down and allowed vocal harmonies to shine alongside sliding synths, a smooth bass line and dark piano tones. There’s a sweetness to ‘here with me’ that contrasts the more sultry melody. This track almost reminds you of that point in the night, where everything’s dark, and all you want is to be close to someone in that darkness.
The next track, ‘holding onto you’, pulls us into a dream-like state. Humming atmospherics, intricate guitars and twinkling synths open the track as Uhkirra’s vocals dance above thumping percussion. As the track builds, the melody becomes more cinematic, with gentle atmospherics cocooning the beat in a dreamy haze of atmospherics.
After ‘holding onto you’, the journey of ‘dusk&dawn’ starts to brighten up. ‘light on’ has an energy within it, that’s patiently waiting beneath gentle guitars, strong piano tones and balmy atmospherics to burst forth. The distorted guitar samples are a good example of this, as they charge beneath the floating vocal track.
That energy seems to be unleashed on ‘either way’, one of the more fast-paced songs on the album. This track is extremely groovy, with warped synths swimming between the creamiest bass line, jazz-like percussion and airy vocals. ‘either way’ feels a bit like a sunny day, one that you can’t help smiling at. It just has a good vibe that’s so infectious and a little intoxicating.
‘somebody like you’ is also pretty infectious. The beat guides vibrant atmospherics, an energetic bass and airy tones throughout the melody as the vocals dance amongst tapping percussion and breezy atmospherics. It’s a really fun track that instantly fills you with joy, as tones ‘expectations’.
Airy guitars work with light clicks and tapping percussion, as soft guitars glide over the cool atmospherics. Akurei provides guest vocals on the track and when the breakdown hits, you can feel a sense of playfulness in the vocals as synths start to curve around them – it’s really fun!
Things slow down again on ‘changes’, an incredibly uplifting track that uses soft horns, light tones, soft guitars and sun-soaked atmospherics to enhance it’s comforting lyrics. It’s a short track, but still makes a huge impact as the melody feels almost like a hug, wrapping you in warmth and a sense of calm.
‘dawn’ closes the album with a spacious melody that blends hollow percussion with twangy guitars. It’s a short track that sounds like the musical embodiment of a nostalgic summer’s day. It’s a really great way to end an album that’s taken us from a sweet sunset, to the dreamiest night and up to the most energetic days.
‘dusk&dawn’ is a powerful debut album. It’s got so much weight to it, in that it can take you to extremely emotional places in subtle ways. Delicate melodies paint a vivid picture of what each track is trying to convey and you almost feel like you’re experiencing an aural art gallery, as every song feels like a work of art you can immerse yourself in.
daste are artists and ‘dusk&dawn’ is an album that not only shows how well they can create a peaceful atmosphere, it also shows how they can use their music to create powerful narratives and almost picturesque melodies.
daste. will also be hosting album launch shows in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane over the coming weeks – get your tickets for those right here