Dakota Child

by Panoramic & True

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A great song for putting in your earbuds and walking with, watching leaves fall and taking stock of things. A song that hopes to take you places, remind you where you came from, what it's like there now—different, to be sure. The old places are wiped out, and yet the new ones recall them eerily, don't they? Do we ever move on? Of course we do, but watching a beautiful autumn tells me we don't go that far. So this song is about the widening circles we tread from our origins to—well, I'll let the funeral organ we used in the song, painted black by Hammond when it was made in 1958, tell the rest of the story.

A slight Canadianism should be explained: "concessions" are rights to use land granted by the government, or more basically subdivided plots of land "conceded" originally by the colonial government for development. The roads that demarcate them are called concession roads or "lines" and are usually numbered sequentially as they get further from a lake shore (Ontario, Erie). In cities these roads have been renamed (Queen St., Bloor St.), but in rural areas many are still just called "Concession Line 2" or whatever number. So a drive in the country, to see the foliage, for example, would be a drive down several concessions.



Dakota Child

this town was made for lovers
so how come you can't love anyone?
you can be forgiven
for what you said but not what you've done
oh, how come?

just rust around the great lakes
only concessions for miles around
I showed her the edge of it
and now she won't be found
I'll have to go to town

my soul's a motorcycle
a hobo's toothbrush and comb
always houses to live in
but no place a home
oh, how come?

hard luck up in heaven
the same sign flashes from state to state
I'm just a Dakota child
lacing up my skate
oh, don't be late

got your picture of the tower
you keep me informed of your precious tale
it's a balm against believing in succeeding
and a reminder not to fail
oh, don't fail


released October 18, 2012
See "Wonderlust" liner notes for credits.

Listed with Wilco, the Mekons, and JC Brooks by Huffington Post as Best Chicago Music of 2011. huff.to/u3q4o6

Already compared to Television, The Velvet Underground, Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab for Cutie, Broken Social Scene, Hey Rosetta!, and Arcade Fire, Panoramic & True and "Wonderlust" do not disappoint.

Early press about "Wonderlust":

MTV Hive: bit.ly/KHhtsF

NPR (WBEZ): bit.ly/OQkZgb

Chicago Tribune (RedEye): trib.in/SFyseO

Cult Montreal: bit.ly/MQI59E


Illinois Entertainer: bit.ly/Q9MMyy

"Unlike anything you've seen or heard before. Think Death Cab For Cutie meets the CSO" - poggled.com

“A Week Of Good Health” turns on the Television, “Dakota Child” some Loaded-era Velvets, and the keening “No Hurt, No Doubt” packs some surprising dirt under its nails for a cut that dies out with a violin elegy." - illinoisentertainer.com

* * *

Formed by songwriter John Lennox after cutting his teeth in Montreal’s mid-2000 scene, Chicago’s Panoramic & True deals a heavy and often orchestrated brand of pop: it is overdriven dirt and shimmer, explosive tom drum rolls, high modern chamber pieces; it’s rock music with a wide-angle lens. Together, the group embellished Lennox’s attic studio of castaway analog gear and spent the winter of 2012 recording the blend of garage, 60s soul, British Invasion, and indie pop that would become Wonderlust.

Wonderlust, released July 24 on Raymond Roussel Records, exceeds expectations: 14 tight tracks of buzzing guitar hooks and cinematic orchestration that bed Lennox’s confident “honey voice” (Chicago Reader) as he looks out the window with mixed wonder and dismay: “a week of good health / pin your hair back / get some new clothes for yourself / get ‘em black on black” (“A Week of Good Health”). Dark yet quizzical, the mercurial tone of Wonderlust allows heavy noise pop (“Pretty Faces”) to stand with songwriterly piano ballad (“Token Resistance”) and dirty psych dirge (“A Hold On You”), all three united in “Dakota Child,” in which a noirish 1958 Hammond funeral organ leads a fugitive charge across the country that leaves only broken dreams in its wake.

The world of Wonderlust, partly inspired by the surrealist novels of Max Ernst, spans nature and city, love and industry; it’s peopled by mystic hunters, farmhand philosophers, seaside goddesses, crusading protesters, mystic angels living in fire, and Lennox himself as he digs deep and finds repulsion and marvel in the modern world. Cues taken from introspective early 70s Dylan as well as from contemporaries Frog Eyes and Bill Callahan inform Wonderlust and what it offers: imaginative engagement without illusion. Once the illusions are gone, we see things as they are: “the prayer is answered as soon as you ask it / the carpenter makes both cradles and caskets” (“House Carpenter”). Armed with this knowledge, Wonderlust will grace stargazing road trips, metropolitan hikes, and late nights by the turntable with a complex joy.

Wonderlust’s arrangement, the culmination of Lennox’s five years writing for string quartet, also sets it apart: as they dive and soar, the strings evoke Ben E. King or the intimate side of John Lennon. Joining the glimmering Rhodes and organ as supportive color, they eerily lift the songs and give Panoramic & True its unique sound: warm, electrifying—a summer storm that inspires exaltation.

Including the string quartet Panoramic & True is John Lennox (guitar, vocals), Patrick Pritchett (bass), Daniel Majid (drums), A.J. Bautista (violin), Amanda Bautista (violin), Randy Mollner (viola), and April Savage (cello).



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