Bright Blue Dream

Bill Baird is a weird guy, but I think that's right where he wants to be. The last time I saw him he was leading a band nearly 12 people strong offstage in a chorus of yelps and howls, wearing a wide-brimmed cowboy hat in his experimental/folk project Sunset. Not much has changed since that night over a year ago, other than the cowboy hat, a little less folk and the addition of three braces on either side of the name (which are actually optional, thankfully).

Bright Blue Dream is a sonic landscape awash with electronic blips and beeps, reverb-heavy lead guitar and Baird's signature hopping bass. Although that may seem like a perfect description for a sophomore release from his previous act Sound Team, this is a whole different beast altogether. Sure a lot of the backing tracks for about half the album could've found their way into the background of a lot of Sound Team's slower tracks (I had previously found the instrumental track to opener "Dear Broken Friend" on an early demo from the now defunct Austin assembly), but Baird's quirky lyrics and an overall slower, looser arrangement show just enough of a departure from the late group to give Bright Blue Dream and Sunset an identity of their own.

The whole album is aural candy, but there are a few standouts - "Diamond Studded Caskets" is a soft take on what could've been a Movie Monster outtake, and "I Love My Job" should be an anthem for all those "creative types" stuck inside their desk job shells (a personal favorite if not just for Baird's bass riff that carries the track along). "Man's Heart Complaint" is a shoe-in for single contention, and its thumping bass line is the heartbeat that holds together the most spacious vocals on the album. "Old Sandy Bull Lee" and "Gulf of Mexico" showcase Baird's flirtation with country/folk sound and are welcome constrained additions to a side two that is mostly made up of expansive ambient experiments. If side one is pop tunes, side two is experimental art (the title track stretches on for 14:13).

Baird is definitely onto something here with Bright Blue Dream, and it'll be interesting to see where he takes it, and with whom. Already joined onto the band full time is Sam Sanford, the former guitarist from Sound Team, and nearly every other former member at least makes an appearance, along with Nathan Stein (who lends his talent to about three other bands around town, Early Tapes, Brazos and Tacks, the Boy Disaster). For now though, whoever ends up helping out and in whatever form that may be in, it's easy to feel content with the material he's giving us with {{{Sunset}}}.

MP3 Download - "Man's Heart Complaint"




Bright Blue Dream