Darling The Dawn by All Hands Make LightRelease date: April 21, 2023
Label: Constellation Records
Since Darling The Dawn is a debut for Montreal’s All Hands Make Light, shedding some, ehm, light on the duo is due.
Essentially, it is kind of a supergroup of sorts, although Ariel Engle (solo artist and often part of Broken Social Scene), and Efrim Manuel Menuck (Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion) might probably shy away from such a tag.
Yet, here the duo is also joined by two guests: amplified and signal-processed violin from fellow traveller Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Big|Brave) and drums by Liam O’Neill (SUUNS), so essentially, such a tag has its merits.
Very often, when strong musical characters join forces, the results might turn into a clash of egos and very uneven quality of music. Still, throughout the seven tracks here the duo and their guest do their best to make a coherent and balanced sound and a combination of the music they have been doing on their own or as part of other groups they are part of.
And yes, this album sounds like a very good sum of the parts and sounds Engle and Menuck previously took part in – post-rock, drone, shoegaze, freak folk krautrock and whatnot else.
The key lies in the fact that obviously both Engle and Menuck and their two guests are on the same musical wavelength, making the music of All Hands Make Light actually shine a very favourable light on the final result here.