Wow! I didn’t realise that people made albums like this any more. I’m not saying that great albums aren’t made in the current age, but I am saying that they tend to fit into very neat and clearly defined boxes. This is ironic, considering that the powers that be are at pains to remind us that this is a post-genre world. So, when an album like The Tragic Dance of Dying Leaves lands under my pen, it is a very good day. A very good day indeed.

Dream-pop was such a wide and wandering genre that I have no problem using such a reference point for Canary Complex. But, like all good artists, Canary Complex doesn’t mind painting over the lines, hopping genres, or even inventing new hybrid sounds to sit in the gaps and smallest of intersections where the circles of the music Venn Diagram overlap. And thus, we have an artist happy to gather any and all shiny musical things that his magpie-like creative brain takes a liking to so as to make the songs more adventurous and unique. And this is done with fantastic deftness and delicacy.

Opening salvo Eden kicks things off in a perfect and perky way, but it is the delicacy, space, and deft sonic weaves that it is made of that are what you should be paying attention to. The overall effect might be one of glorious, life-affirming pop, but the gossamer threads that it is woven from are the tell-tale sign of things to come.

For space, suppleness and sonic subtlety are the watchwords here. Golden Gate might pick up where the opening salvo left off, all pace and panache, but songs such as The Endless are genuinely groundbreaking. Yes, a hazy and drifting ballad built on the idea that if less is more, then this much less is undoubtedly so much more, but it is a song also built from nuance, emotion, intrigue and gorgeous lyricism. A comment on colonialism, the brute force of religious conversion or something more fantastic? Who cares when a song is this beguiling, and what is a world without mystery…perhaps the answer is best undefined, better if it keeps us musing on higher ideas and musically speaking wanting more too.

For Evergreen is built on beat and beauty, coiled and shimmering guitar riffs ebbing and flowing between punked-up beats and anthemic energies, Parasol wanders between the dense and the delicious, the odd and the awesome and The Alchemist is an oboe-driven slice of absolute gorgeousness.

Although erring on the side of the understated, when required, The Tragic Dance of Dying Leaves employs all manner of sounds and styles, tropes and traditions. As such, the result is a clever blend of melody and muscle, groove and grace, power and poignancy. A fantastic album, a dialled down album and an artist who I will be keeping a close eye on.

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