Tag: The Beat Escape

DAWN TO DAWN Postcards From The Sun To The Moon

First coming together in late 2018, Montreal trio DAWN TO DAWN are releasing their first full length album ‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’.

Comprising of Tess Roby, Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee, DAWN TO DAWNDAWN TO DAWN combines Roby’s forlorn introspection as heard on her first two solo albums ‘Beacon’ and ‘Ideas Of Space’ with Ohr and Lee’s dance-derived templates as THE BEAT ESCAPE.

With no-one style dominating over the other, this sonic sandwich has produced an intriguing sound to be savoured.

A slow burner in its realisation, the songs were created through communal jam sessions with off-the-cuff lyrical interventions before editing and processing. With a gentile start, ‘Anniversary’ drifts into the ether to welcome the listener into the world of DAWN TO DAWN with ethereal vocals, synthetic soundscapes and absorbing drum machine mantras.

‘Meridian’ is a fine example of this more uptempo approach of DAWN TO DAWN compared to solo Tess Roby productions; while the songs have a dreamy melancholy in common, moving from low to high in its fabulous multi-faceted vocal arrangement, there is a understated danceable quality within the subtle textures.

Expanding the template, ‘Care’ is interesting and unconventional in that a sung lyric doesn’t appear until almost halfway through the track. Nocturnal yet rhythmic, with an alluring folk-tinged vocal to offset the understated synthetic overtures, there are enigmatic skatted vocals in the vein of Dot Allison for the first two minutes before Roby presents her more coherent contralto over its hypnotic synthbass and crisp rhythmic construction.

Adopting a bouncing percussive groove, ‘Samba’ features some very absorbing multi-layers and manages to not be too forceful while almost harp led, ‘A Colour Named By You’ is much sparser and devoid of drum machine, coming over more audibly reminiscent of Tess Roby’s own solo work.

Presenting an important message, the trance soundscapes of ‘Ecology’ are crystalline and hypnotic in their aural expression which could even be considered to be romantic. ‘With U’ is proof that danceable rhythmic music can be understated and doesn’t need to be overtly loud with hints of Finnish duo SIN COS TAN in its pretty keyboard motifs.

Meanwhile ‘Stereo’ captures that joy of music which can be a communal or solitary experience, functional or incidental, is marvellously infectious with a breezy allure captured and understated synthesized danceability.

Acting as a fine and fitting closing number, the beautiful ‘Lanes’ is inspired by the tranquillity and seasonal deserts of British seaside towns like Brighton; with a soft forlorn air and the eerie moods of the late Julee Cruise, it displays an artistic kinship with Jorja Chalmers whose recent album ‘Midnight Train’ was inspired by her home seaside town of Margate.

‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’ is a wonderful toe-tapping record that captures the 2am wind down of a house party where some people still want to dance, albeit in more a more tranquil, less boisterous manner while others quietly do some tidying up but no-one wants to leave yet. As DAWN TO DAWN themselves say “this album is meant to be enjoyed with or without a fixed destination in mind”.

‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’ is released by SSURROUNDSS in CD and digital formats, available via https://dawntodawn.bandcamp.com/album/postcards-from-the-sun-to-the-moon






Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Christopher Honeywell
6th October 2022

DAWN TO DAWN Interview

A union between Montreal electronic duo THE BEAT ESCAPE and fellow Canadian singer / songwriter Tess Roby, DAWN TO DAWN first met in 2018. Inspired by their developing friendship, the trio began to make music together.

Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee have one album ‘Life Is Short The Answer Is Long’ to their name as THE BEAT ESCAPE; released on Simon Raymonde’s Bella Union, it contained tracks such as ‘Sign Of Age’ which displayed an icy intelligent dance music affinity with Finnish duo SIN COS TAN.

Meanwhile, Tess Roby issued her debut album ‘Beacon’ on Italians Do It Better in 2018; but she took the plunge to showcase her brand of emotive folktronica independently by releasing the follow-up ‘Ideas of Space’ on her own SSURROUNDSS label earlier in 2022.

DAWN TO DAWN are about to be release their debut long player ‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’. As their moniker suggests, they capture a circadian feel in their music, adapting to the natural human consciousness. With enticing synth soundscapes and Tess Roby’s forlorn vocal as the common threads, the album is lively and beat-laden at its most social yet understated, then introspective but positive as near-sleep sets in.

Tess Roby, Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee settled down with ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK for a chat about the making of ‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’…

What inspired you all to get into a collaborative project?

Tess: I released ‘Beacon’ on April 20th, 2018, while Patrick and Adam released THE BEAT ESCAPE album the week after – I had heard about them for ages, always curious as to who they were. We connected at a show a few months later and said we should get together in the studio. In November 2018 we had our first studio session, which is when we wrote ‘Meridian.’ It was pretty magical. After that we were in the studio together every weekend; making music, drinking wine, making dinners…

Adam: We had a shared appreciation for each other’s work but there was no intention to start a band at all. We met up for coffee one afternoon, which led to opening some wine, which led to turning on some instruments to jam. Something clicked and all of a sudden we had all of the parts to a really great track within about 25 minutes. We all loved what we had started so we made plans to meet again to finish it. That led to starting something else that we felt needed to be finished.

Patrick: The first time Tess came over to the old studio, we were more concerned with what snacks to get than what the jam might sound like. After that 25 minutes, the immediate musical chemistry completely took us by surprise.

What do you get out of working as a group that you can’t with your own main projects?

Adam: Tess is the lead singer and typically writes all the lyrics in this group so that’s one of the major differences which I find really inspiring.

Patrick: Working together makes us travel to musical places that we’d never really be able to go to on our own. There’s this beautiful, kindred, democratic meeting point with our work. Where we land is definitely inspiring.

Tess: Studio energy! The excitement in the studio when we’re chasing an idea together is unmatched.

‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’ is released on the SSURROUNDSS label, how does this compare with being on other labels?

Tess: I guess we’ll see! It’s cool to be doing our own thing and making this space for ourselves. I started SSURROUNDSS to release my record ‘Ideas of Space’ and it felt like the right move to release the DAWN TO DAWN record too.

Patrick: What better captain to steer the ship than our beloved front woman. SSURROUNDSS 4 lyfe.

Would it be fair to describe ‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’ as a product of lockdown, the result of a need to collaborate due to the isolation?

Tess: Most of this album was written in 2019, so before the pandemic. The only songs we wrote in the lockdown were ‘Stereo’ and ‘Samba’ in December 2020. We all took covid tests and went into the studio for two days and made these two really beautiful, happy songs. I was writing about missing summer, missing partying, missing togetherness. After those sessions we had a small party at my house, which was illegal at the time, so we boarded up all the windows so no one would know we were there. Crazy to think about.

What synthesizers and drum machines did you dust off for the album’s making, do you have any favourite trusty pieces of equipment?

Adam: I have a Lexicon PCM 70 effects processor that was used quite a bit throughout the record. The Voyetra 8 sound also made its way into a couple of tracks and there are some nice ARP Odyssey moments as well.

Patrick: My SH101 also finds itself on almost all of our songs. Same with the 808 with everything going through an old Mackie 1402 mixer. That thing was pretty key actually. When unknowingly writing ‘Postcards…’, the three of us were always at a keyboard and drum machine, Tess on the mic. That liveness of the jams definitely finds its way into our songs.

Tess: The Juno 60 is on a lot of tracks too – that was fun to write with as I usually write on my 106. Such a special sound, you can really hear it on ‘A Colour Named By You.’

‘Meridian’ is an example of the more uptempo approach of DAWN TO DAWN, was there a conscious aim to be more “upbeat” with a particular aesthetic in mind? Did the vocal approach change at all as a result?

Tess: I think there’s always an energy that we’re looking to capture. The more upbeat songs were all made at night, after dinners and many bottles of wine in the dead of winter.

In terms of creative dynamic, do you each have designated roles within DAWN TO DAWN?

Adam: Usually the three of us would jam an idea and then Patrick and I would experiment with the file – process some sounds and edit – and then we’d play Tess what we worked on and decide what worked and what didn’t – then arrange everything all together, add what we felt was missing – and finally, re-record all the vocals.

Tess: We all write together in the studio. After the initial few sessions, Adam and Patrick will take the files and experiment with processing, and then we’ll get back in the studio to finalize everything and record vocals etc.

‘Care’ is interesting and unconventional in that a sung lyric doesn’t appear until almost halfway through the track, how did the idea come about?

Adam: I think that idea came about as a result of our shared love of B-sides, while recording the song it just felt like a natural thing to do.

Tess: ‘Care’ is one of my favourite songs on the record. That was the first track we did together where I really started to push my voice to another level. I think we wanted to give some space to that, and eventually have it lead to a little story.

‘Stereo’ captures that joy of music which can be a communal or solitary experience, functional or incidental, what was the song’s genesis?

Tess: Like I said earlier, ‘Stereo’ was written deep in the winter lockdown of 2020. We were so happy to be back in the studio together after 7 months of not being there that we ended up writing these really euphoric songs. For ‘Stereo’, I was imagining a party I went to in 2019 where I went alone and was on a bit of mushrooms. There’s something really nice about being at a party alone, something carefree and weightless. That’s the vibe I was after.

Adam: These were also the first sessions at a new studio space in downtown Montreal – it was the beginning of the holiday season and the downtown lights seemed to seep into the recording.

Tess: December is one of the best months to write music, such a special vibe.

Patrick: Yeah, we all love Christmas.

‘Lanes’ is inspired by British seaside towns, but was there a particular one and what did you see that fascinated you?

Adam: When we were writing ‘Lanes’, we realized that we were channeling this mysterious mood and we started talking about ghostly British coastal towns. We became very excited by this idea, this imagery, and so it became the inspiration for the song.

Tess: When I wrote the lyrics, I had Brighton in mind, specifically the area called ‘The Lanes’ where the roads narrow and you can easily get lost. It’s such a special place. I’m half British and grew up spending summers in the UK. I’ve always loved British seaside towns, there’s a melancholy to them that you don’t find anywhere else.

Which are each of your own favourite tracks from ‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’?

Tess: ‘Care’ is really special for me for the reasons I mentioned earlier. ‘A Colour Named By You’ I love – it feels timeless. And ‘Anniversary’ has this calm, blissful to it that I always seek when I’m writing. I could live in that song.

Adam: ‘Lanes’ is the most moving one for me, ‘Meridian’ is special cause it was what started the project, and I love the groove and vocal melodies on ‘Samba’.

Patrick: I love ‘Samba’, ‘Stereo’. They’re the kind of dancey pop tunes that I always love to discover. ‘Lanes’ is also so beautiful and heartbreaking and such a special one… I’m pretty sure we were all in tears somewhere throughout the writing process.

What’s the future for DAWN TO DAWN?

Tess: We’re in the studio, working on a bunch of different tracks. It will be interesting to see how they come together in the future. No specific plans for now though we’re talking about touring in the Spring. It will be amazing to finally perform these songs for people – I’ve been waiting to do that since the day we first got together in the studio.

Patrick: The song we’re currently working on has such a vibe it kinda freaks me out… but an amazing kind of freak out. Excited to continue to follow our impulses, try to make meaningful music, and just have lots of fun.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its sincerest thanks to DAWN TO DAWN

‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’ is released on 6th October 2022 by SSURROUNDSS in CD and digital formats, available to pre-order from https://dawntodawn.bandcamp.com/album/postcards-from-the-sun-to-the-moon





Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Christopher Honeywell
25th September 2022

Introducing DAWN TO DAWN

Born to musician parents, Canadian singer songwriter Tess Roby dedicated her 2018 debut album ‘Beacon’ to her late father.

Building her songs around the understated tones of a Roland Juno 106, there was room for her reflective vocals to take centre stage for an earthy brand of folktronica that was a departure for the Italians Do It Better label. But adding mechanised the beats of a Roland TR808, Tess Roby has a new project in the danceable dreampop of DAWN TO DAWN. Completing the line-up are Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee of THE BEAT ESCAPE who bring their Minimoog, Roland System 100, Roland Juno 60, Korg 700s, Korg MS20, Roland SH101 and ARP Solina along to the party.

Based in Montreal, the trio met just after Roby had released ‘Beacon’. Their best song to date is the recently released ’Care’ which was written on a cold winter’s night. Nocturnal yet rhythmic, with an alluring folk-tinged vocal to offset the understated synthetic overtures, there are enigmatic skatted vocals in the vein of Dot Allison for the first two minutes before Roby presents her more coherent contralto over its hypnotic bassline and crisp rhythmic construction.

Directed by Tess Roby, the visual accompaniment to ‘Care’ is a touching ode to summer nights with friends and losing track of time through collective enjoyment. Containing in-car and studio footage, the video is enhanced by its impressionistic quality, thanks to being shot on Kodak 16mm film by Hugo Bernier.

The first DAWN TO DAWN single ‘Meridian’ was more ethereal and sedate in comparison with ‘Care’, although it retained a drifting nocturnal quality with a fabulous multi-faceted vocal arrangement. But the previous single ‘A Colour Named By You’ was much sparser and devoid of drum machine, coming over more audibly reminiscent of Tess Roby’s own forlorn soundscapes as showcased on her solo long player.

DAWN TO DAWN themselves are due to release their own full length album in 2022.

‘Care’ is available as a download single from https://dawntodawn.bandcamp.com/




Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Christopher Honeywell
30th August 2021