Kyle Bobby Dunn is making his way up the charts, through the ranks of hundreds of new droners, getting press & praise everywhere he goes, and making me giddy every time a new album comes out. A full length is up next on Desire Path and it is certain, outlook is good, signs point to yes, without a doubt, Ways Of Meaning is my favorite KBD record yet.
This new album continues what Dunn does best, overwhelming beauty without relying on crescendos or building to grandeur, understated & impeccably paired tones, but it progresses beyond the straight-faced neo-classical sounds from before and works toward something warmer, more light hearted, attention grabbing, and overtly pleasing. Meaning is primarily guitar & organ based, giving it an exceptionally church-like vibe without any of the religious or epic connotations. It’s easy to imagine how incredible these drones would be resonating through a church, making me hate myself all the more for missing Dunn’s performance at the First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn last year.
The album works insanely well as a whole, one cohesive life-shroud of smothering brilliance, but each individual song is astonishing on its own. “Canyon Meadows” is one of the most gloriously uplifting drone pieces I’ve heard in a long time, it perfectly embodies an open field untouched by man, blues & greens saturated by golden hour, subtle shimmering & glistening sun on stillwater, the incomparable feeling of napping in a warm sunlight bath after days of dreary rain. Everything about the song glows hope and happiness.
This is the most delicate bliss I’ve ever experienced. 100% shining purity that doesn’t need to be cranked to 11 to get the job done. It swirls softly & effortlessly turns hearts into puddles of droney delight. To say this album is absolutely gorgeous is an understatement, and even though I always have high expectations for a new KBD record, this one still surprised me. I can’t stress enough how incredible it is. If your lazy ass is thinking “Ok, I’ll get around to it,” FORGET IT. Make this a priority and don’t sleep on it. You’ll be a sad sad person.
Ways Of Meaning officially comes out on May 3rd, with Desire Path giving it not only the usual LP & digital niceties, but also going full on “special art edition.” If you remember what they did for Solo Andata’s Ritual art edition (and minimally glamorous box set!) then you’re probably wetting your pants right about now.