Label: Round Bale Recordings
After last year’s wondrously hypnotic psych-folk release Leave Every Every Single You as Family Ravine, we are pleased to be working once again with Kevin Cahill, this time under his moniker Downer Canada. Over the past five years, the D.C. handle has been Cahill’s primary outlet for his guitar-less, found sound work, where cassette recorders serve as his primary instrument in creating a sort of hallucinatory bedroom concrète. With Environmental Dubs, Cahill blurs the lines a bit further with a more uniquely layered offering that he describes as “music turning into daily sound, daily sound turning into music, real and not real.” Recorded between May and August of 2020, Dubs, in our opinion, brilliantly captures the conflicting emotions brought on by life under lockdown: familial joy colliding with maniacal unease, outdoor tranquility locking into droning tedium, carefree playfulness transforming into jittery anxiety. This may all sound like something many would rather not re-live, because, well, we’re still living it, but we assure you that Cahill has a way of turning these elements into something that’s rather magical and otherworldly and, like a diamond in the sky, we are left with a beacon of hope as the album comes to a close.