Slow Dakota out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, call themselves an ambient baroque / baroque pop band. I can see the era’s ornate and intricate stylings in the band’s The Junior EP as its sounds twist and turn like ivy up and down grand staircases, promenades, and archways. I can also hear somewhere not too far off that an exotic Siberia traveling circus has just come to town. Excitement and anticipation are gathering, I’d say. Please do tell the tale, Slow Dakota!
In falsetto and with a choir of mixed voices, they sing of an almost legendary “Dancing Bear” in all its greatness and marvel. The song gives descriptions that resemble the way one may talk of 17th and 18th century oil paintings in a museum:
And you were in
The line of shepherds at the inn
And I believed
The sounds you made were real sounds
Not only do these words give a visual description, but they also describe the viewer’s feeling and perspective of what is being seen, similar to how one may experience a painting.
“No. 38” provides a little baroque harpsichord interlude before the beautiful “If I’ve Disturbed You/Luftwasse”, which may remind the listener of a romantic foggy evening in the spring. The tune features an unique trumpet ensemble, bringing the song to a close.
The fourth track, “Slow Dakota Meets Bürstner in the Belly of the Whale”, reintroduces the melody and chorus from “Dancing Bear” but tells a new tale. We are again graced with the words:
In all your greatness (all your greatness)
In all your words (all your words)
There is no falsetto this time and the high and light sound of the ukelele accompanied with a group of voices singing give the impression that this is an old campfire storytelling song that is well known and loved.
The harpsichord closes the album with a short and intricate instrumental in “Sycamore Tree”, leaving listeners to wonder what and where this fantastic grouping of songs has taken them. I think that is Slow Dakota’s intent as they tell us in “If I’ve Disturbed You/Luftwasse”:
I’d rather part with
For private glee
Glee in the knowledge
That you’re all standing up there
Inclined to me
But hey, you be the judge. I’d love to hear where The Junior EP takes you!