DaltonRobinson are a unique duo consisting of two close friends, Michael Dalton and Rory Robinson, who live on opposite sides of the world – Dalton resides in Australia, while Robinson resides in Ireland. The two have been making performing, mixing, mastering and producing their own music for years. January 19th 2018 marked the official Worldwide release of the duo’s debut album ‘Worlds Apart’, an album born out of a whimsical idea back in early March 2017, that became a reality and given the challenges we faced; examples being the 9 and 11 hour time differences, not performing live within a studio environment and having to learn other instruments to create an authentic ‘full band sound’, as well as working full-time in their respective jobs.
If you sometimes need to reach for songs that make you smile, that deliver adrenaline or emotional balm, then you could do an awful lot worse in today’s musical scenario than reach out for DaltonRobinson’s album ‘Worlds Apart’. They make truly special pop-rock songs.
It’s reassuring in 2018 to discover a band who know that it’s really important writing undeniable hooks, for whom melodies matter, and who understand that an honest human heart is a rare commodity. As well as being able to lightly sprinkle some poetic but not pretentious words on top of all of that.
DaltonRobinson metaphorically offer you a cuppa, a biscuit and a comfy chair for you to lean-back into, from the opening orchestrated, cinematic track, “Tokyo Lights”, as you discover, song after song, the duo’s undeniable urge and urgency to create and communicate that burns brightly through almost every minute of this record.
Sure, there’s that sweet, soft charm in their all-embracing big melodic sound, but there’s this wonderful sense that this – making music, communicating, and maybe inspiring people to rethink their lives – really matters underneath.
DaltonRobinson’s simple turns of phrase contort idioms into something otherworldly, by elevating the everyday and making the familiar mundane things in our lives seem strangely significant and poignant. This is particularly true on “All You Can Say Is Sorry”, which is driven by some spectacular guitar work, and Avec Toi.
On each of opening four tracks the songs reach a dizzying pop-rock crescendo. It’s a joy to hear them composing songs, which mix subtlety and world-weary wonderment with shimmering, breath-taking, radio-friendly anthemics. DaltonRobinson even have the courage to include a series of ‘shooby do wop’ choruses into the jangly “Dance The Night Away”.
There’s a lot here that will sound familiar to legions of listeners who have latched on to the scores of bands that have built booming resumes off of the influential brit-pop blueprint. Which brings us to the catchy guitar-strummed, back-to-back set of tracks “Left It Too Late”, “There’s Only Us” and “Through Her Eyes”.
Even when coming to grips with fractured relationships or stepping outside of the well-tested pop rock formula, nothing can dull the duo’s fresh perspective and sturdy resolve. “No Turning Back” struts through its early lines towards elongated final words, prefacing a soaring transition to the chorus, shuddering drums and a knowingly jagged guitar riff delivering on the song’s chanting highs.
The titular track retreats to familiar territory with slow burning verses joined by soaring choruses and a copious jangle coming to the fore once again. In it’s opening bars “Thinking Of Me” may be musical comfort food through and through, but it’s comfort food done with heart and nuance, before the sound swings into a momentum-gaining rolling rhythm.
In between the peaceful textures and searching lyrical content are the sounds of Britpop crunch which constantly appears throughout the album, before the final tracks, “Here’s To You” and “Home”, set in.
This album unfolds, song after song, with a wholeness and flow that hardly anyone accomplishes anymore. The tones are beautiful, while the arrangements are subtly brilliant, with the kind of ear-grabbing sonics that should dominate every genre of music.