Dream Boat: Eclipsing
Supergroups tend to have a very hit or miss past. They’re either the worst decision in a musician’s life or one of the most interesting. The latter can definitely be said about Dream Boat; a super duo out of Athens, Georgia, consisting of Elephant 6 contributor Dan Donahue, and from Hope For Agoldensummer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Page Campbell. Dream Boat’s Eclipsing is a folky, passionate, and otherwise pensive musical journey. Eclipsing is an album that offers something sweet and beautiful.
Page and Dan waste no time getting to business. Dream Boat knows what they’re about. Eclipsing starts with a simple and sincere song, “Picture,” that sets the stage for Eclipsing. Page’s voice softly shines through constant piano and looming strings. The trend of a perfect blend is continuous. Dream Boat successfully delivers, song after song one of the most sentimental experiences possible. The fourth track, “Wildfires,” stands out as being a tad more cosmic than the rest of the album. It serves not only as a great piece that helps the album transition into something with constantly more emotion, but stands on it’s own legs as a demonstration of what Dream Boat is capable of. Later on, the seventh track, “Fever” provides a far more folk feel. The song makes a name for itself, standing out with it’s emotionally deep lyrics and possibly the most active song of the album. It’s a climax before the slow ride back to reality. As the album comes to a close Dream Boat provides a serene and flowing, “Broke Open.” The excited energy begins to drift and while the feeling is still there, the later half of Eclipsing is far more subdued.
With each song so carefully constructed, it’s hard to believe Eclipsing has any flaws at all. It’s almost true, Eclipsing is quite honestly fantastic. So what’s the catch? The same catch haunting most bands in this sort of cosmic folk genre or is it just folk in general? The issue at hand–the problem that Dream Boat has fallen victim to–is that every song begins to sound exactly the same. The first time listening to Eclipsing is wonderful, and goes best with a cup of tea on a cold winter’s day. Every subsequent listen goes best with a long drive or a room to clean or any time consuming activity–not because it’s bad, but because there’s nothing distinct to pick out anymore. Eclipsing has it’s champions, the songs that will be the representation of Dream Boat. These songs and every single one on Eclipsing deserves some serious recognition. But that’s the problem. What song is what again? Which is it that received recognition for what? An album perfected, and yet forgettable.
Let’s not let the flaws of Eclipsing eclipse what makes the album great. Dream Boat knows how to make a good song and they know how to deliver it. They have a way with words and a way with instruments. They’re more than good; they’re absolutely brilliant. Eclipsing offers a range of emotion and it sprinkles the right amounts of this and that all over. Where one band has failed and made a rather instrument heavy album sound like Disney Land, Dream Boat has succeeded by carefully using each instrument in just the right way, at just the right time. Add to this Page Campbell’s almost unfairly beautiful voice and you end up with the masterpiece that is Eclipsing.
Dream Boat is sailing along, so peaceful and calm. Each song stands as a testament to human thought and feeling. As mentioned, Eclipsingis a journey; one worth taking at least once, but maybe with not much more shelf life after that. All the same, it’s genuine and soothing.To put it simply, Dan Donahue and Page Campbell have created something special, meaningful with Eclipsing.
MP3: Dream Boat “Wildfires”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl