Feature, Reviews

Star Parks – Don’t Dwell Album Review | Gavin Brown

May 17, 2016


Star Parks – Don’t Dwell

With the summer rapidly approaching and the potential for hot days and balmy evenings, the release of this album couldn’t have timed more perfectly such is its sunny disposition. Star Parks aka Austin, Texas based musician Andy Bianculli makes music that is perfect for the summertime and Don’t Dwell is an album that is reminiscent of the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson in particular with shades of Randy Newman, The Shins, Van Dyke Parks and even a sunnier Velvet Underground at times.

Warm and upbeat poppy songs are the order of the day hear and songs don’t come much more upbeat than they do on Don’t Dwell. From the hazy openings of Hymn For The Hopeless to the closing bars of The High Hopes Of Good Fortune, this is a record that exudes positivity while celebrating life, love and longingness and is an album that would be very difficult listening to without a smile appearing on your face.

Songs like the Beach Boys-esque Egotists and the album title track, the jolly romp of Hugs and the most melancholic song on the album but one that is still so positive in Loose Ends all make up parts of an album that can only be described as dreamlike and while these are songs that are perfect for sunny days, if you listened to them on a rainy or gloomy day, they would instantly brighten that day up.

The centrepiece of Don’t Dwell is most certainly the Nobody Comes Here (And Nobody Leaves), a perfect pop song full of harmony and melody, luscious strings and a mixture of nostalgia and hopefulness that engulfs the entire song, a song that is simply glorious.

Biancullis harmonious voice is definitely a unique one due to the Lo-fi nature of some of the music, it can be somewhat muffled at certain times on the album but that only adds to the charm of his vocals, the fact that they are not always perfect makes them all the more real but when his voice is in full swing it is something to be admired and is definitely close to perfection as is the whole album and Don’t Dwell is his masterpiece. This is dreamy pop music done in a classic style and wouldn’t have sounded out of place in 1960s California but sits just as well in the current world, the themes of nostalgia and hope will never wane. One listen to Don’t Dwell and it is obvious that the sound of the summer is here now and one listen definitely won’t be enough! A magnificent record.

Don’t Dwell released May 13th via Paper Trail Records. Limited edition translucent baby blue 12″ available at papertrailrecords.com/store

Words: Gavin Brown

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