Like fellow Danish indie-darlings The Raveonettes, Dawn Gazers are busy creating music that hearkens back to simpler times of plaid and loose jeans. Influenced by nineties alternative and shoegaze rhythm and melody, Dawn Gazers prove that the sun has yet to set on the nineties musical aesthetic.
Single “Killer Whale” opens with a catchy bass riff, and duet vocals – eventually lifting off into a Nimrod era Greenday chorus and guitar played in rhythm with the vocals. The lyric “salty and sweet” in the chorus of “Killer Whale” could be used to describe Dawn Gazers sound as a whole – as poppy as it is indebted to acts like Sonic Youth.
The vocal delivery caters to Dawn Gazers as ambassadors to the new world of adulthood. The vocals are earnest and sweet, sung with a naïve passion, while the lyrics deal with hefty existential content. Emerging into adulthood in a lot of ways is a new dawn, everything bathed in a fresh light, as perspective shifts with added responsibility. Yet with the dawn comes the mysteries and challenges of a new day. Dawn Gazers fuse this rhythm of life with an enthused, sad and honest whimsy. These aren’t songs for the hallways of school, or the jaded doldrums of office life, but rather songs for that early bus-ride to a day on the new, exciting job. The music is full of nostalgic sadness but also optimism for the future.
The night is not the realm of Dawn Gazers; their world is fresh and bathed in sunlight. “I fall, I fall, I fall” is a ballad right at the tail end of this E.P., and to me the stand-out track. Full of fuzzy guitar tones and ambiance, the lyrics of “I fall into the night” sung over distorted ambiance just add to At Starlight as an album of mornings and new things. The album comes full circle, following an interpersonal journey from the beginning of the day to the end.
Opening track “It’s Always Been You” is an extremely hummable tune about love. “Hummable” is a term that describes Dawn Gazers extremely well. I found myself humming the melodies of their songs long after I had been listening to them. They sunk in almost unconsciously, re-emerging at the oddest and most unlikely times. At Starlight is light and ethereal pop, taking well known alt-pop tropes and giving them a fresh, unpretentious reinvention. Take a listen with a cup of tea and a book one morning, you won’t be disappointed. Dawn Gazers are a fixture in a new morning of guitar driven alt-pop.