The Star Prairie Project is an exciting and eclectic proposition, named in part of the hometown of songwriter and head honcho Nolen R. Chew Jr. The new album, New Day At Dawn, may come on all guns blazing, opening salvo My 944 being a generous nod to old school rock ‘n’ roll, part Beach boys, part 80’s rock, but as they say, never judge a book by its cover…or at least, never judge an album by its opening song.

Within two more songs, we have had lilting and quirky folk with Buffalo Bob and the sweet pop-tronica of Sometimes. It is then that you realise that perhaps even eclectic was a poor choice of words, and this is an album, and indeed a band, who are going to push generic boundaries, subvert expectations and drag the listener out of their comfort zones with every song. I, for one, think that this is exactly what music should be doing every opportunity it gets.

There are anthemic yet understated rockers with Sweet Pea, gentle ballads courtesy of Those Hazel Eyes and acoustic pop and indie leanings thanks to Tomorrow Never Comes. And then there is the ambient and understated glory of the title track, all voice and beat and little else getting in the way, allowing this understated blend to create a new sort of chilled, rootsy dance music.

It’s great when bands ignore the rules or at least rewrite them. Rules such as albums should clearly conform to a specific genre is the first casualty, and the idea that you need to adhere to a fad or fashion to be successful is discarded in quick succession. Albums, and indeed songs, bands and even general purpose, should be defined only by what the artist wants to do; here, The Star Prairie Project pretty much does everything.

And the thing that will really annoy other, perhaps more conventional and genre-driven competitors, is not just that they take a shot at all and any genres that take their fancy, but that they do them all so well.

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