Home MusicAlbum Reviews Santa Maria’s Dome: Denim Dan’s Powerful Indie-Folk-Rock Album Odyssey

Santa Maria’s Dome: Denim Dan’s Powerful Indie-Folk-Rock Album Odyssey

by Jonathan Currinn
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Making a defining impact in the indie folk music industry, Denim Dan dropped their awesome seventh studio album, titled “Santa Maria’s Dome”. This album was officially released in October but has been brought to our attention in the first instance to highlight its pure potential and how the 12 tracks have quickly become some of Denim Dan’s most popular tracks on streaming platforms. This acts as the follow-up to their previous album release, “This Way, That Way, The Other Way”, which was dropped in April.

Effortlessly diving into a variety of inspirations, Denim Dan is a Boulder-based band that was established in 1996 and continues to showcase their drive and passion for music. They dropped their debut album, titled “Your Foreign Town”, in 1999 and haven’t looked back since. This seventh studio album, “Santa Maria’s Dome”, continues to bring their essence and musical strength. Across 12 tracks, Denim Dan takes their signature folk sound and warps it around pop and rock while adding soulful vocals, making sure the music stays with the listener for the rest of the day.

“Santa Maria’s Dome” & “It’s Got to Be Love”

The album starts with the title track, “Santa Maria’s Dome”, a tuneful upbeat track that fully introduces this album and Denim Dan, perfect for those who are new to the band’s music. Indie-folk pop-rock at its best, this track has an addicting rhythm that is emphasised by the keys and the guitar, while the lyrics bring added rhythm and rhyme through the frontman’s passionate vocals, easily making sure this catchy track gets stuck in one’s head.

“It’s Got to Be Love” follows next, diving in deeply within the folk-rock ballad style, allowing a guitar to take centre stage with melodic chords while the lyrics hold a conviction that love is what he is feeling. Towards the end of the song, there’s an epic flute instrumental that stands out for all the right reasons.

“Down by the River Bend Flow” & “We Don’t Care”

The third track on the album is “Down by the River Bend Flow” which is a progressive rock track with hints of indie-rock and folk beats creating an awesome flow that we can’t get enough of. Clearly inspired by ’80s rock legends, the track has conceptual notes and uses space iconically. Easily our favourite track on the album. This is followed by “We Don’t Care”, a drifting melodic pop-rock track with awesome indie vocals that hit us right in the heart. Full of sound and rhythm, this is a track that touches us on a whole other level.

“Guess I’ll Be Alright” & “Remind Me”

“Guess I’ll Be Alright” is the next track and at just 3 minutes, it makes it the shortest track on the album. Full of tuneful indie-folk-rock, the track has a strong harmonious vibe as the frontman tells a story about going separate ways and how he will be alright. It’s his strongest vocal yet and has an infectious hook with the title lyrics allowing him to send influential waves to the listeners – making us also believe we’re going to be alright.

Next up is “Remind Me”, a soulful folk-rock song that is defined by what sounds like a saxophone, making iconic notes that dominate the backing track while the drums also take a prominent role amongst the many other instruments. Lyrics are woven into the track with the frontman again impressing vocally, creating an engaging relationship with the listeners.

“Rolling On Home To You” & “Now That I Found You”

Track seven is “Rolling On Home To You” which takes on a more Americana energy with folk undertones, telling a narrative within the lyrics as we hear how he will do anything that this person wants him to do, with no issues because that’s how much he loves them. It’s a sweet song with a huge pop-rock instrumental in the middle that effortlessly blows us away.

“Now That I Found You” follows next, taking the essence of the pop-rock sound from the track before and embracing it as well as spacing it, giving it room to breathe. Denim Dan’s frontman’s vocals shine as he invites us into a story about not wanting someone to leave. With highly relatable lyrics, the song builds and builds, crescendoing towards the end in a theatrical pop vibe. The whole energy has us thinking of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the song “Jack’s Lament”.

“My Life’s in a Few Boxes” & “And She Still Thinks About You”

Track number nine is “My Life’s in a Few Boxes”, which sees them strip the energy back somewhat while adding in defining organ instrument notes that shouldn’t work but it certainly does. This organ transforms this piece of music, creating an intense yet joyful illumination to the track as the frontman’s steady vocals touch on personal sadness about leaving.

This is followed by “And She Still Thinks About You”, a rhythmic track that keeps a timing beat creating Denim Dan’s catchy signature sound which pairs brilliantly with the storytelling words that the frontman is singing, delving into a woman who clearly still thinks about someone who is no longer in her life and the narrator showcases this love and his love for her – making this a highly conceptual and relatable track that gives us chills. The guitar solo at the end is a flawless instrumental segment that makes itself known.

“It’s Been Four Years” & “The Beginning Is the End”

“It’s Been Four Years” is the penultimate track on the “Santa Maria’s Dome” album, bringing some experimental folk-rock to the table, with Denim Dan showcasing versatility in their dynamic signature tone of folk-rock. The clear risks they took on this track are not only impressive but are strong and inspiring.

The final track is “The Beginning Is the End”, ending on a beginning with storytelling vibes that lift up the listener and make us realise that we can’t change the past but we can change our future and make the right decisions in our lives. It’s accompanied by some soul-folk-rock beats mixed with pop energy creating an intricate ballad track that is certainly the perfect song to finish this album on.

Conclusion: A Folk-Rock Revelation

In an industry often crowded with predictable beats and lyrical clichés, Denim Dan’s seventh studio album, “Santa Maria’s Dome”, emerges as a testament to the band’s musical evolution and genre-bending prowess. Embarking on a sonic journey across 12 tracks, this album masterfully fuses indie-folk with pop and rock elements, leaving an indelible mark on every listener

From the opening chords of “Santa Maria’s Dome” to the reflective melodies of “The Beginning Is the End”, Denim Dan showcases a compelling range that transcends mere musicality. Each track becomes a canvas where folk-rock tales seamlessly interlace with soulful vocals and instrumental brilliance. “Down by the River Bend Flow” stands as a testament to their ’80s rock influences, while “My Life’s in a Few Boxes” captivates with its emotive organ notes, evoking a sense of poignant nostalgia.

Through layered narratives and skilful instrumentation, Denim Dan orchestrates an album that resonates far beyond its final note. With tracks like “We Don’t Care” and “Guess I’ll Be Alright”, they strike an emotional chord, effortlessly weaving tales of love, separation, and resilience. “Santa Maria’s Dome” isn’t just an album; it’s a musical odyssey that cements Denim Dan’s place as a trailblazer in the indie-folk-rock genre.

“Santa Maria’s Dome”, by Denim Dan, is available to download and stream, right now, across all platforms.

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