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Daniel Rossen
Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP Meryl Trussler , March 28th, 2012 07:31

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This is the first solo release by Daniel Rossen, and an experiment in immediacy. Here, the compact indie-rock powerhouse seeks to break from Grizzly Bear’s careful production and hurl his songs onto record like buckets of paint at a wall. Silent Hour/Golden Mile builds on first takes, non-studio recordings and DIY choirs, with only the choicest post-hoc additions: an understated blur of horns on ‘St Nothing’, the salty clap and spray of Eric Slick’s drums on ‘Golden Mile’, et minimal cetera.

But it sure doesn’t sound that simple. Dan Rossen’s idea of a rough draft is not your average scruffy legal pad festooned with cocks. Oh no. What we get instead is a five-track EP which sprawls past its zoning right out to the horizon; fat purple sky above, acres of scrub, bones and diamonds below. It seems as though Rossen has forgotten how to do small after all his years dealing in BIG: bass notes rumble away from him unbidden, and steely, complex fingering slips the burden of digits, turns into birds and snakes.

The EP’s centrepiece, ‘Return to Form’ – with all this and cellos and telescopic effects pedals and more – is no less sweeping or complete than anything on Veckatimest. No other track is quite as grandiose, but all are grand, and strong-hearted. Strange how, where Rossen finds space round these swells of noise to sing, he sings of silent hours, silent songs, bereavement, whispers and hollowness: ‘in this big empty room / finally feel free to sing for me’. One can only imagine that, for our man Dan, the Void is the Muse: small, spartan rehearsal spaces become cathedrals of sound, quiet grief is converted to its opposite, holes are found and filled. (No sniggering at the back, cock-artists.)

So it’s all filler, no filler. Hermetic. And a full-length album will undoubtedly appear soon to seal up the gap where none now exists – because hell, he’s got ten minutes and a rubber band, he can Macgyve up something decent before the bus gets here.