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M83 - Until The Dawn Heals Us
by Eric Bodrero

Five Star: A look at albums that are so good that they impress even the most cynical of critics. Very few albums are superior enough to obtain a five star rating but occasionally a band slips through the river of mediocrity that is the modern music industry and they produce an album that restores our faith in the future of rock! This series is a look at such albums. 

Where do you start when trying to describe a band that gets their name from a faint, remote galaxy? How about eccentric, innovative, breathtaking, and awe-inspiring for starters? This French duo has certainly made quite an impressive career of their young selves with the release of their self-titled first album, their monstrous second effort, “Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts”, and now, with “Before The Dawn Heals Us”, which, after at least ten straight listens from glorious beginning to exhausting end, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is as flawless as any album deserves to be.

M83 have been compared to just about everybody who is somebody, from Mogwai and Air, to My Bloody Valentine and Four Tet. However, they have a style and sound all their own which no one can pin down, meandering through several genres including electronic, indie pop, and pure rock. Take for example, the sweeping, majestic ten-and-a-half minute mini-epic “Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun”. This haunting melodic masterpiece encapsulates everything that M83 is: extravagant, grandiose, and sincere. Then mix with that the harsh, distorted, guitar driven behemoth that is, simply, “Asterick”, with it’s eerie synth-laden background that grabs your jugular and squeezes until you can barely breathe the word uncle, and then comes to an unexpected, smoke-filled, grinding halt. Or how about “Slight Night Shiver”, where a mother and daughter are seemingly chased by a figure of some kind through fury-filled emotion and squealing tires, only to come to rest in a serene, placid bed of beautiful, melody-driven synth, with the sound of cars driving by on a highway. 

To be truthful, I’m not expecting to hear better electronic music this year. M83 has crafted and honed their sound into something so pure and delicate, that they actually sound light-years (no pun intended) ahead of their time. Listening to this album is akin to breathing fresh mountain air. The more you breathe, the clearer life seems to become. In the words of a famous cliché, if you only buy one electronic record this year (and that’s incredibly asinine), it needs to be this one. 

M83 is currently making a handful of stops in the U.S. through April, including the famous Woodstock-like Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA. Don’t miss out!   

More Info 

M83 - Until The Dawn Heals Us

Track Listing:
Don't Save Us From The Flames
In The Cold I'm Standing
Fields, shorelines and hunters
I Guess I'm Floating
Teen Angst
Can't Stop
Let Men Burn Stars
Car Chase Terror!
Slight Night Shiver
Guitar And A Heart, A
Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun

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