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Dana Gavanski
When It Comes Irina Shtreis , May 2nd, 2022 09:25

A reversed retrospective, joining the dots between the present and past. When It Comes is the second album by the London-based songwriter Dana Gavanski

It is a rule of thumb that at a certain point in life a songwriter undertakes a retrospective approach. A Canadian artist of Serbian descent, living in London, Dana Gavanski ostensibly collects snapshots from her childhood and adolescent years. The overall warmth and wistful undertones imbue her second album, from the gentle undulating piano on the opening ‘Kiss the Night’ to lulling closer ‘Knowing to Trust’.

Each song is an immersive journey into a melody, intricately framed with the sound of keyboards, sometimes delicate and cautious, sometimes bold and determined. It seems that Gavanski is very fond of synths. Originally composed on the artist’s toy Casiotone, the recorded songs obtain volume with a multitude of presets, varying from bouncy Moog-like sounds to Wurlitzer and plonking piano.

There is certainly more consistency and integrity soundwise than on the debut record. The sonic scope on her first album Yesterday Is Gone is rather sparse, providing glimpses of her love for David Bowie, occasionally transcending into indie-folk and dream pop akin to the New York duo Widowspeak. Unlike its predecessor, When It Comes is a planet surrounded by a steady layer of sonic atmosphere. Yet, it is not immediately transparent. With waltzing rhythm, arpeggiating chords on the acoustic guitar and sci-fi-like keys, ‘Under the Sky’ is an unravelling knot of sounds. The lyrics speak of emotional depth and maturity: “I never know which truth to face but you and I under the sky”.

Melodically, it evokes a melange of Wall of Sound and late 60s psychedelic records which aligns her with contemporary revivalists Beach House and Foxygen. Vertigo-esque vocal parts and undulating melodies suggest something as distinct as a traditional song. Perhaps, it is not just an impression, considering Gavanski’s Serbian roots and the memories of her trips to Belgrade that the artist states as inspiration.

When It Comes is a very balanced record that shows the artist standing on solid ground, in comfort with herself, and ready for a further creative take-off. A soothing and pleasant listen.