In their heart of hearts, DLS is an avant-rock band. Take their new album «Gold Coast» (2018) about which Rolling Stone wrote «Eckman’s space-consuming pieces breathe the euphony of Lambchop and the expanse of the Cowboy Junkies without falling for the artsy or for melancholic resignation.» The band wrote all 9 songs as a single entity and the trio features cosmopolitan, gravelly-voiced, half-human half-guitar Chris Eckman (Walkabouts, Dirtmusic), songwriter and angel voice Chantal Acda (Isbells, Sleepingdog, Bill Frisell) and the experimental, jazz-centric percussionist Eric Thielemans (The Mechanics EARR Ensemble, Sun Ra’s Marshall Allen). As the album unfurls, it’s obvious that friend Phill Brown, who engineered and produced for Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, Leonard Cohen a.o. is again a pivotal influence from behind the mastering consoles. Beyond, Phill is a master of placing mikes in magical spots, searching for the unexpected ambient sound that beautifully complements the material, explains Chris. He expands «We recorded the tracks with all three of us playing and singing at the same time. We left the expressive qualities of the performances as they were, embracing irregularities and spontaneous decisions and so-called mistakes. We didn’t make digital intrusions. A few elements were added later, but the basic triangle of Eric, Chantal and myself was left mostly uncorrupted».
The album’s an adventurous journey on how to bring ideas, moods, and instruments to life. Listen to the synergy in Chantal and Chris’ voices, it’s the beauty meeting the beast, vocally. «Don’t Go Dark On Me» is a heartbreaking homage to Leonard Cohen, but it’s the upbeat «Slowed It To A Stop» that might summarize best of what’s on offer tonight by these superb musicians: The ethereal beauty of their work is simply stunning.
Live at El Lokal, Distance, Light & Sky. Like a rainbow in the dark.