DBA – Halycon Hymns
(Cherry Red Records – 2021)
The fourth album from Downes Braide Association or DBA for short that consists of the duo Geoff Downes (of Asia & Yes fame) alongside LA based Pianist, Chris Braide that also features Marc Almond of Soft Cell & David Longdon of Big Big Tree.
It came to be because Chris was bored during lockdown, then one day opened up a file of ideas that Geoff had sent him over previously which magically became songs for this incredible album. This was thanks to the suggestion of Marc saying to him to get creative to fill the void the whole world had found itself. Bit by bit, things fell perfectly into place and the songs wrote themselves as Chris puts it.
You'll feel so inspired by the well done prog material that has some beautiful elements of music, vocals and narrative throughout this very impressive release. It starts off nicely with the tranquil amor of 'Love Among The Ruins' that throughout the album you will be taken on an amazing journey that you'll want to travel on again and again, through rocks and over mountains like the song 'Your Heart Will Find A Way' says.
I Love the balladeering 'Holding The Heavens' with the harmonising caress which I can also say for the Elton John like 'Warm Summer Sun' or the Beatlesque 'Today'. 'Remembrance' is one hell of an epic track too that will stick in your head a long, long time after you have played it. If you are wondering, the cover artwork is by Roger Dean of Yes cover hence why it's stunningly beautiful to say the least. It comes with a DVD that features Roger talking about how he came up with the cover and more!
It will be a joy for the duo to perform many of this well-crafted songs before a devoted appreciative audience in concert. It's definitely something for us all to look forward to in a few months time.
By Glenn Milligan