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Dakota Suite - Waiting For The Dawn To Crawl Through And Take Away Your Life

  by Jonjo McNeill

published: 21 / 4 / 2007



Dakota Suite - Waiting For The Dawn To Crawl Through And Take Away Your Life
Label: Glitterhouse Records
Format: CD

intro

Downbeat and understated, but totally compelling and eventually life-affirming new album from Dakota Suite, the band of Leeds based probation officer Chris Hooton


Leeds based probation officer Chris Hooson is an Everton supporter. This was the very first thing he mentioned when I stuck the accompanying DVD for this album onto my rusty old TV set. He started writing songs years ago; primarily about the tribulations of supporting said football team, and even though I have very little fondness for Everton (nothing personal you understand), I instantly fell in love with the idea that songs about football could be beautiful pieces of music in their own right. But that was then, this is now. And now Hooson (the main man behind Dakota Suite) brings us a collection of tender and touching songs about love and loss, and very special it is too. Like many albums of this ilk (downbeat, understated and touching) it’s hard to put into critical words why specific songs or words are so special. To analyse it from the point of view of someone who has never heard Dakota Suite until this record, my first impressions were that Hooson has an unremarkable voice, his instrumentation is sparse and acoustic, and the overall tempo of the album is too downbeat. It doesn’t take much of ‘Never Much To Say’, however, to grab one’s heart and sit it firmly in place for the duration of the album. A reluctant musician who only releases records because people ask him to, he is also a natural songwriter. Next time Jack Johnson or James Morrison or whichever identikit major label singer/songwriter (shudder) wants to release a dreary album of bland acoustic crap, they should be locked in a room with this and hopefully they’d emerge with something even one quarter as beautiful as ‘A Darkness Of Moons’ or ‘Because Our Lie Breathes Differently’. Brushed drums and pianos melt into small orchestral works of art, weaving between melancholy and outright despair with a natural, shimmering beauty. Hooson doesn’t sing with his throat or his balls or belly – he sings with his emotions, every syllable dropping from his tongue like a tear to the ground. There’s a dark brooding atmosphere to ‘Waiting For The Dawn…’ ‘Early Century Maple’ sounds like the suspense music from a medieval murder mystery, ‘Brittle With Sorrow’ like the love theme to the greatest movie ever made. Perhaps the cinematic aspects are intended – but then it doesn’t sound like anything on this record was a product of chance. Every note seems as vital to the whole picture as the next. We close with ‘All That I Can Hold Near’, Hooson realising finally what life is about. "It’s about losing everything". Snatching good from his realisations and perhaps seeing promise where before there was none, an underlying theme of hope does seem to run through the seemingly bleak notes and chords of this excellent collection of songs. Who knows if Dakota Suite will release another record? There’s certainly more than enough room for more of this. Beautiful, tender, damaged and unloved, much like Chris Hooson himself perhaps feels, these are songs on another planet to anything you’d compare them to. A true talent hidden away (probably intentionally) behind other lesser artists more interested in glossy TV campaigns, magazine covers and BBC interviews, Dakota Suite have made a great record with no bells, no whistles and no bullshit, but more heart and soul than anything you will hear this year.



Track Listing:-
1 Never Much To Say
2 A Darnkess Of Moons
3 UW Wanhopige Vrees
4 Because Our Lie Breathes Differently
5 I Don't Understand Your Medicine
6 Early Century Maple
7 All Your Hopes Gone Cold
8 I'm Leaving You
9 Over A Loveless Winter
10 Brittle With Sorrow
11 All That I Can Hold Near


Label Links:-
http://label.glitterhouse.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GlitterhouseRecords
https://twitter.com/glitterhouserec
https://www.youtube.com/user/GlitterhouseTV



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