Jesse & The Dandelions
Give Up The Gold // Independent
On Give Up The Gold, Jesse & the Dandelions have created a unique blend of melodic, vintage song-craft and dazzling digital textures in an album that feels both instantly classic and sonically innovative. These are songs full of carefully considered production and songwriting choices, and demonstrate a bit more restraint in these areas than Jesse Northey’s previous outings with the Dandelions. This restraint serves the music well; there are plenty of subtle instrumental and textural touches that only reveal themselves after multiple listens. These repeated listens are assured too, given the series of sugary sweet and instantly hummable melodies on the string of songs that open the record (“Leave My Temper”, “Not Getting Your Way”, and “Give Up The Gold”). “Here At Last”, a definite highlight later in the tracklisting, is a Lennon-esque ballad featuring a chord organ and verses in a lilting 3/4 time signature that give the track a unique sonic profile. “Barking Up The Wrong Tree", meanwhile, channels “Band On The Run” and the lushness of the best McCartney arrangements (and that guitar tone in the solo is dead on). In some ways, the comparisons to The Beatles are inevitable here; these songs draw on a certain songwriting vocabulary that came to be in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but it never ends up feeling like music that’s trying too hard to recall the past. Jesse & the Dandelions have their best release yet on their hands with Give Up The Gold; it’s a beautiful record that feels meticulously assembled and inspired throughout.
- Sean Newton