From Here To Eternity is Kyle Bobby Dunn‘s epic new quadruple (yes, really!) LP, and the first release in five years from the talented Canadian.
As Rich mentioned in our Spring Preview, this album is highly anticipated, and is in a class of its own. Dunn doesn’t disappoint – although disappointment is one of his themes. These drones sing of heartbreak, disunity, and unease, a disturbingly familiar chorus sung by much of a hurting world.
Releasing on America’s Past Inside The Present (May 3), Dunn’s album is immense. His processed drones, fed through guitar, try to process the world around him. Dunn is both an observer and a participant – dealing with confusion, frustration, unending loss, identity, pain, disease, and death, but also with rising from the ashes and coming out of a difficult period as a changed, refined person. From Here To Eternity is an outstanding work. He goes right into the thick of it, giving drones the oxygen and the space they need in order to breathe. And these are deep breaths, the kind that hitch and heave in the chest when crying. Emotions affect the body and its response; everything is connected. Dunn doesn’t pretend that everything is alright, but this level of reflection and intimacy makes the record stand out. The music wouldn’t be possible, or half as powerful, without its pain. This also makes it personal. An internal conflict has been raging between a set of emotions and current life circumstances, but a conundrum exists as to how best to deal, cope, and/or accept situations.
‘…I’d go to escape and look at the Riviere des Prairies and Laval on the other side of the island. It’s incredibly beautiful, but it also filled me with hopelessness and a sense of unease. A lot of the tracks might do that to the listener’.
Infinite Sadness (2014) was another gaze at the melancholic, but this goes deeper. The tones are dense, swirling in the murk while trying to call upon some secret emotion, trying to regurgitate some thought and cleanse it with its angelic processing. Unlike the majority of popular music, it settles directly in the heart, filling it up with sad, lingering drones. The music keeps it real. This is real life, expressed not only through the deep eyes and the heart, but through the music, its long, sighing drones and its eternal crushing. It’s how it is, and that makes the music more meaningful (and musical) than anything in the fast-food chords and the poisoned culture of popular music.
Brexit has taken depression to a whole new level, and Dunn’s music is slightly-less-depressing than The B Word. Just. Still, it’s heartbreakingly sad, and very relevant to the times we’re living in. Drones of crushed euphoria, a dream forever stifled and taken prisoner. A life bent out of shape by the coming of a perfect storm: rogue winds and a lashing of cruel chance, a random upset of fate and the rainfall of pressured circumstance.
Swapping a political and national s***show for FUBAR emotions, Dunn ups his game once again, and just when one thought it couldn’t be possible. The album also includes some of Dunn’s favourite musicians and composers. Loscil, Benoît Pioulard, Simon Scott, Pan American, and Wayne Robert Thomas all grace the record. Even though it’s sad and aching, walking in step with a broken world, it embalms and comforts troubled hearts. It works through pain and heartbreak.
It is an engulfing.
Long, melancholic drones swell and ebb away. Sober drones circle in a sustained holding pattern of loss. That drone is never the same, never to be repeated. Rather, it’s always in motion. No matter how slow you go, it’s still progress. Dunn’s music is also a cry: to keep on going, to keep pushing forward…from here to eternity. (James Catchpole)
If you’re going through hell, keep going – Winston Churchill