BY ROBIN MUMFORD OF THE INDIE PLUG
Ah, another day where I review an indie album, at least I thought.
Wake up, have breakfast, drink some coffee, have a shower, clean my teeth, listen to an album, write about it. That seems like a productive start to the day. However, Warren Dunes, who released their first LP just a week ago, seems to have disrupted my routine. Instead of churning out an album review, I was restricted to intensive listening, trying to figure out what genres the band have chosen to experiment with. After a few listens to the album, the answer to my problems was simple. Get Well Soon is a melting pot of musical diversity, suffused by their signature beach vibes, splashed with rich vocals and a plethora of different influences.
Warren Dunes are a Seattle-based band which consists of Julia Massey and the two Cortese brothers, Jared and Dominic. They were drawn together by their shared love of live performance, being happiest when they are together on stage, moving and flowing as synchronous aspects of a greater whole. Their debut release should come with a warning; it is quite simply contagious. Their joyous music is infectious, and their passion to experiment and entertain is transparent.
As music enthusiasts, we often flirt with the romanticism that music isn’t simply just music. Instead, we lean towards the concept that music is, more often than not, art. No truer is this statement than with Warren Dunes and Get Well Soon. An expansive release that can’t be described in five words, but maybe hundreds or millions.
Opening the album with introductory bashes of a drum before converting to a tropical sounding hymn, and ending with some jazz and funk, Talking About That Burden is a very good opening song. However, it only serves as the kickstarter to the rest of the catalogue of diverse numbers. In fact, the opener is a very average track when it comes to the rest of what Warren Dunes has to offer, and that’s a big compliment.
Count on Me follows a similar vocal pattern, implementing a tropical and whispery tone to Julia Massey’s compelling voice. This song features more guitar in it than the first, helping to experiment with the different sounds that the band has in its armoury. What follows is No Mud No Lotus, which slows the pace down, producing a mellow warmth to the palette, nodding towards a deeper tone.
You get through the first six tracks somewhat knowing the vibe that Warren Dunes has tried to absorb us in, but then your thoughts and beliefs are all ripped apart when Cool Mom goes against the start of the album. Featuring Chris Blount, this whirlwind of a song throws you into the deep end. Hip Hop and indie rock entwined with tropical aesthetics have never sounded so good. The seventh track alone stands as a monolith to everything great about the Seattle-based band.
Arguably, the best thing about this meritorious release is not just the diversity in sound but Massey’s polished voice. If there were three words to describe her voice, I would have to say crystalline, dreamy, enchanting. In other words, her voice is encapsulating; it can take you on a trip to somewhere better than reality. Her voice is only improved by the Cortese brother’s rich instrumental knowledge, having the ability to know which sound fits the voice and vibe perfectly upon every track.
This release very easily competes with the best I have reviewed during my time at Our Sound Music, thrilling me with the diverse array of genres it has experimented with. The difficult part now is deciding the rating of the release. First, I had to come to terms with what vibe the album procured; now, I have to rate it. Thanks for giving me a hard time Warren Dunes. Anyways, for anyone reading, go listen, seriously. **** 1/2
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