‘Sounds of Day and Night’ - the most accessible and ‘complete’ Dodson and Fogg work to date(July 12, 2013)
Just finished listening to ‘Sounds of Day and Night’, the third progressive-acid-pysch-space-folk-rock offering (you choose the word combination) from Chris Wade as personified in his prolific folk-rock project Dodson and Fogg, and when I say ‘just finished’ I mean finished the last of multiple replays. And that is what’s needed to navigate its legions of layers, complex weave, convoluted synths and varied instruments - one play is insufficient. There’s far more going on here than first meets the ear so for complete enjoyment much burrowing is advised. Each time you listen something new pops its head out of the rabbit hole to tempt you in.
The immediate impression remains a mix of early progressive folk and rock. There are familiar well-loved otherworldly sounds, ghostly vocals and wraithlike fragility, all wrapped in a package that evokes a hint of somewhere magical from long ago and far away. That’s not to say that ‘Sounds of Day and Night’ is old fashioned, it’s not it’s simply music bathed in history. The title track ‘Sounds of Day and Night’ tells you what to expect as wistful sounds swirl over a deep-set bass line with strong guitar breaks, with ‘Hear it in the Morning Still’ the vocals kick in as does strident brass and twinkling keys and again the attention-grabbing guitar. Like these two and you’ll be sold on the rest. As I have observed previously it’s not exactly helpful to split out individual tracks – each one is so much part of an integrated ‘whole’.
Having said all that, for what it’s worth here are my favourites - the switch between peaceful wandering and feverish energy of ‘Lost in Words’, the faintly disturbing keyboards and vocals in ‘Night Train’- again complete with distinguishing guitar, the slightly less convoluted ‘Morning Love’ with its love-generation chorus and for resonant richness ‘Sounds of Day and Night Part Two’.
I feel this is possibly the most accessible and ‘complete’ Dodson and Fogg work to date. It’s tighter than before and somehow more all-embracing. Perhaps, the continuity thread of ‘day and night’, the exploration of differences between those ‘worlds’ and the people that live within them exerts a tighter influence. And yes, after an unscientific straw poll round the office I'm not alone in thinking the cover art evokes a faint echo of Caravan's Land of Grey and Pink.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll