I mean, the title of this album alone is art. Just read that title slowly with your eyes close- ‘The Tragic Dance of Dying Leaves’. It is pure bliss. It paints a picture, it evokes a feeling, it’s poetry and art all just with six words. To say I was excited to check out this brand new album from Canary Complex would be an understatement so let’s go ahead and jump into it!
As suspected, this album kicks off beautifully with “EDEN”. I was instantly in love with everything about this track from the subtle piano work that comes in and out throughout the song to the infectiously poppy beat and super smooth vocals. This opening track has a sense of undeniable power that comes with every beat and hoot and holler that can be heard in the background but it also brings a sense of calm. Today has been a bit of a frantic day and I felt like there was no getting out of that mindframe but this song did just the trick. I felt calmer but also full of life and energy which was just what I needed to power through the rest of my Friday.
The first line of “Golden Gate” hit me right in the gut. “Are you nostalgic for that time and place or are you just depressed?”. I mean, much like the album title, I found this phrase to be pure art and it hit me hard. Just when I thought I was going to be spending the entirety of this three minute song all wrapped up in my feelings, the song really kicks off into another infectious and boppy song. Even with the upbeat nature of this song and the super fun, there’s no denying the emotion that comes with the beautiful combinations of words throughout the song. I love this because it gives you a second to reflect internally but doesn’t make you want to crawl into your closet with the lights off to just cry. It’s cathartic in all of the right ways.
It’s ironic I used cathartic to describe “Golden Gate” because it seems to be the definition of the third song on this album, “Song of Healing”. Dropping the more infectious and pop-based beats, this song is slow, steady and just drop dead gorgeous. The thing I love most about Canary Complex is the fact that they put so much emotion in each song which means that although “Song of Healing” is, overall, a bit more mature and serious, it still has an equal amount of energy as in the first two tracks. There are moments of this song that have an almost orchestral value to them but others that lean more towards the folksy and whimsical side of the singer-songwriter world. Like usual, this is just another example of Canary Complex merging two completely different styles that, on paper, don’t work together but, when composed by Canary Complex, it works perfectly.
“The Endless” is the fourth track on this album and it instantly catches you with its lush instrumentation but also lo-fi tendencies. This is another slow, steady and somber song but it really showcases the vocals. To say that Canary Complex’s vocals are stunning would be an understatement but you hear that within the first few seconds of any of his songs. Something about them in this song just really stood out to me more than usual. There’s a darkness to them that I don’t think I’ve heard Canary Complex try for before but I am here for it. The dark and moody vibe of this track is staggering and I love how it kind of seems to even out this album right in the middle. That being said, I was ready for some more of Canary Complex’s upbeat bops.
Thankfully, that’s exactly what I got with the cinematic track “For Evergreen”. Another signature move of Scarlet Canary is the rise and fall that can be heard within phrases and even single words. That is truly showcased in this song along with cool compositions and interesting instrumentation. Some points in this song reminded me almost of old school Panic! At The Disco with the vocal styling but, others, had a more adult contemporary vibe to them. Again, two styles that should not be mentioned in the same sentence yet here we are.
I remember growing up and having trouble trying to fall asleep. My mom used to tell to imagine that I was drifted up towards the sky. Focusing in on my bedroom first, then the house, then the backyard, then the neighborhood and so on and so on. Why am I telling you this slice of cheese from my life? Well, I wish I would have had Canary Complex’s track “Bel Espirit” to pair with this practice. There’s just something other-worldly about this song but it’s not odd or complicated. It’s just one of those gorgeous and lush tracks that takes you away from everything and, because of that, I feel like I was a bit lost for words and, before I knew it, the album had continued onto “Parasol (deep sky)”.
Although “Parasol (deep sky)” is the longest track on this album at just over five minutes, I felt like I, again, just got lost in it. This song is just as lush and atmospheric as “Bel Espirit” but seems to have more drastic mood changes throughout the song. There’s an almost seaside carnival vibe to this track that I found intriguing. Maybe that was the seagulls and the almost carousel feeling instrumentation (whatever that is– I honestly don’t know but I’ve heard it before and feel like you know when you hear it). There are movements throughout this song that catch you a bit off guard at first but, when looking at this track as the epic whole that it is, they all make sense. I love that about this track and although it wasn’t my favorite on the album, it was definitely a closer runner up.
I thought I wanted this album to end the way it started– full of power and pep but, as the album moved into the final track “The Alchemist” with a sense of subtly, I realized that an upbeat jam wouldn’t make sense here. The beauty in the transition from “Parasol (deep sky)” into “The Alchemist” was so good that I almost didn’t notice it. Joined in this track by abbytheoboist, the movements throughout this song, like the rest of the album, are interesting and perfect. At one point, there was this almost Samba inspired beat that made me want to stand up, grab the closest cat, and just start dancing around the living room but, as soon as I set my eyes on said cat, the mood seemed to change ever so slightly in a way that the dancing no longer made sense.
I thought that this album ended super suddenly for what I was expecting so I went back and listening to the last minute of “The Alchemist” again just to make sure I was right in saying that. I was wrong. The album fades out in an actually brilliant way but I think I just so badly wanted to continue the journey that is ‘The Tragic Dance of Dying Leaves’ that I didn’t want it to end so was a bit crabby and frustrated when it did. What I’m trying to say is this album is worth the thirty one minutes that it lasts and then some.
My Favorite Track(s): “Golden Gate”
For Fans Of: Lush Ambiance; Poppy Seriousness; Emotional Power
Mosh-ability: 1 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept right under my desk; Autumn wandered around the couch; Alfie slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
Check Out Canary Complex here:
Buy ‘The Tragic Dance of Dying Leaves’ HERE!
Check Out ‘The Tragic Dance of Dying Leaves’ HERE!
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