Early Day Miners – The Sonograph EP

Early Day Miners
The Sonograph EP

As a worthy follow-up to the phenomenal Jefferson at Rest, The Sonograph cements Early Day Miners’ place as one of the most prominent moody slow-core bands. From the indie-rock heartland of Bloomington, Indiana by way of Spain’s phenomenal Acuarela label, these six songs are rich and full yet still moody and introspective in tone.

Singer/songwriter Daniel Burton and drummer Rory Leitch, both members of Ativin, combine with Joseph Brumley (guitar) and Matt Lindblom (bass) as Early Day Miners. This band’s rich palette of sound is a perfect accompaniment to the laid-back approach. Production here is key, as the vocals and guitar are mixed wonderfully, creating a very lush arrangement that keeps things from being too slow or too stark.

“Albatross” starts things off with a rich texture of guitar and drums, harmonica also providing a backbone to this song, giving it a bit of a retro-folk feel while matching the song’s mid-tempo pace. Instead of harmonica, tambourine mixes in “Perish Room,” yet again it doesn’t sound out of place, instead providing a light accompaniment to the bass-driven, moody track. Still, on this one, the light vocals – at times singing “do do do…” – give the tune a bit of a lighter feel. “Bedroom, Houston” is another quiet piece, perhaps the most mellow and stark track on the release.

The band offers two instrumentals, “Bijou” mixing beautiful electric guitars with some nice reverberating effects over a staid but emphatic drumming, and “Mosaic II” combining the sounds of crickets chirping and acoustic guitar and keys for a light, summer evening feel. The closer, “Misrach,” is more than six minutes, and it shows a more chaotic feel to the band. Noiser, with plenty of effects layered in, the song has an oddly cohesive flow.

I was very impressed with Early Day Miner’s last album, but now it seems like that was just the tip of the iceberg. This very talented group of musicians has a clear knack for writing moving indie-rock songs, tinged nicely with a melancholy touch. This EP has prepared me for the band’s next album, which will surely be a knock-out.