“We wanted to do music to raise the mood of the people” – that’s quite a promising statement in Covid-19 times, ain’t it? No doubt that I had to try out this kind of mental therapy. The artist behind the album is Daniel Lanois, who is a multiple time Grammy winner and likely one of the most successful musicians in Canada. With his new band Heavy Sun, he recorded a self-titled album, which is released on 19th March 2021.
Daniel Lanois – About The Artist
Daniel Lanois is a Canadian producer, songwriter and artist, who majorly did rock / alternative rock recordings. He was born on 19th September 1951 in Hull, Quebec, which is something like the Northern suburb of Ottawa. He worked with a lot of big artists, but his most prominent records as a producer are likely Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree by U2. He won eleven Grammy Awards for collaborations with different artists. He is a member of the Canada Walk of Fame in Toronto.
As a solo artist, he debuted with the 1989 album Arcadie. Daniel Lanois & Heavy Sun is already his 18th solo album (plus two soundtracks he has recorded completely). He recorded it with his new band, Heavy Sun. The members are Rocco DeLuca (guitar / vocals), Johnny Shepherd (organ / vocals) and Jim Wilson (bass / vocals).
Daniel Lanois – Heavy Sun – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 42 minutes.
1. Dance On
The organ is welcoming the listener to the sound of Heavy Sun. Overall, the instrument is to me something like the hidden boss of the instruments on the whole album, as it is having a strong presence in the song. Another key character of the album is the great collaboration of the vocalists. The song comes with a touch of soul and blues. Do I feel happier after listening to it? Wouldn’t state that – but there are still ten songs left.
While Dance On did not really make me dance (it sometimes rather confused me), Power comes with a nice rhythm and rather feels to make me move.
Alonе or as one
Let it be thе first chain, we’re not done
Not fighting anymore, not fighting any less
‘Til the work’s all done, no time to rest
The falsetto voices feel to fit to the pop-ish character of the song. I like to listen to Power much more than to Dance On – but the song still feels a bit too overdone to me.
3. Every Nation
What I definitely like about Heavy Sun is that it touches many genres. Every Nation feels a bit like world music, but also has some jazzy attitude. It comes with a nice collaboration between the organ and the guitars. The vocals are not that much on the high notes – which I feel suits that kind of song better.
4. Way Down
Way Down comes in a more gentle atmosphere. The vocals are much more in focus than in Every Nation, for example. The song somehow reminds me of sailor songs – cannot really explain, where this feeling is coming from. It is definitely the song I like to listen to most so far.
5. Please Don’t Try
It is quite amazing how the same setup of people do that different songs. Please Don’t Try has a strong touch of black music to me again – not as gospel-ish as Tumbling Stone later on the album, but with a lot of soul. One of my favorites.
6. Tree of Tule
The Tree of Tule in Mexico is the biggest (known) tree in the world with a diameter of some fourteen meters. The song does not have a touch of sombreros and tequila, but is very peaceful and slow. The organ is taking the role of the lead instrument, together with the rhythm in the background. Nice.
7. Tumbling Stone
Tumbling Stone feels like a gospel song to me. The song is to me one of the album’s songs profiting most from the fact that all band members are vocalists as well – it is simply a very nice collaboration and harmony between the Daniel Lanois and his Heavy Suns.
8. Angels Watching
Angels Watching is a bit of mantra-alike as it is having so many loops and repeats – All Day, All Night. The organ partially almost feels threatening to me. A track which is creating a strong aura, even though that also makes it a bit harder to listen to the song.
9. Under The Heavy Sun
This somehow-the-title-song track comes with a much easier atmosphere. It combines the multi-vocal collaboration with a sunny vibe. It feels a bit like reggae to me. Suits to a heavy sun…burn, doesn’t it? Nice song!
10. Mother’s Eyes
Mother’s Eyes comes with a nice organ groove, so that the song practically does not need any additional rhythmic instruments. Not too bad, but not as catchy as other songs before.
11. Out Of Sight
The closing track, Out Of Sight, spreads quite some warmth. Its kitschy harmony sometimes reminds me of Christmas songs. It also has a certain gospel touch. Nice finish.
Daniel Lanois & Heavy Sun – Daniel Lanois & Heavy Sun – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Daniel Lanois – Heavy Sun – My View
It might be too strong to stay I felt happier after eleven different tunes from Daniel Lanois and his Heavy Sun. The album is definitely somehow uplifting and it touches so many genres – there feels to be a song for everyone. Nonetheless, the band and the album follows a concept and the songs come in a common style. That’s the fascinating thing about this album to me. You likely won’t listen to too many songs of Heavy Sun in mainstream radio, but if you give this recording a try, there is a good chance for a good time.
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