Music Review – Dandelion War, “We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes”

Music Review – Dandelion War, “We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes”


Artist: Dandelion War
Album: We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes
Label: Deep Elm Records
RIYL: Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros, Appleseed Cast, Moonlit Sailor, Antlers

It’s easy to get lost in the wasteland of post-rock, ambient, shoegaze bands. They seem to have saturated the music scene in the past few years, I blame Explosions In The Sky and Friday Night Lights. While most of these bands are capable in creating lush, ambient landscapes, most of these sounds bleed from one band to another making it hard for anyone to stand out. Enter Oakland, California’s Dandelion War. While they are very much in the same vein of these bands, Dandelion War seem to take the best elements of this sound and craft them into something wholly their own.

Their sophomore effort, We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes is an exquisite barrage of ambient landscapes with Larry Fernández’ vocals floating over each meticulously crafted note. Larry’s vocals are a welcomed departure from the falsetto of bands like Sigur Ros and Radiohead, more like Chris Martin from Coldplay after some whiskey and cigarettes. Smothered in reverb, the vocals act as a part of this auditory painting and are never overpowering.

We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes isn’t an album that lends itself to cherry picking certain tracks. The 55 minute album is meant to be enjoyed as a whole. Therefore, judging this album track-by-track doesn’t do it any favors. Listening to Dandelion War you find yourself slowing down to enjoy each moment they have to offer. The album is best enjoyed on long drives, contemplative writing sessions, sipping brandy and smoking a pipe.

Dandelion War rises above a genre that can get stale very quickly. While We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes has it’s quiet and contemplative moments of beauty, but it can also crescendo into moments of melodic and meticulously crafted noise. Their blend of reverb-laden guitars, ghostly vocals and even electronic textures are very much welcomed in this sophomore effort. While We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes should  catapult Dandelion War into our collective, artistic consciousness.

Rating: ★★★★½