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Dreamy yet explosive, Echodrone presents their third album, ‘Bon Voyage,’ out June 26th.  The San Francisco group began in 2005 with Eugene Suh (guitar squall/ electronics/ vocals) and Brandon Dudley (bass), later completed with Mark Tarlton (drums/ sound engineering) and Meredith Gibbons (guitar skrunk/ vocals).  Prior releases include their 2007 self-titled  EP, voted #2 Listener Favorite on Vertigo Radio, as well as their 2009 full-length release, ‘The Sun Rose in a Different Place’ which gleaned significant airplay on Soma.FM.

Feel the azure overhead, sunrays beaming in the beginning of “Under an Impressive Sky.”  The rhythmic opening explodes into brilliance, conjuring fast forwarded images of morning traffic, workers rushing to start the day.  The song swoops into an encompassing harmony, words indecipherable yet lovely as the guitars swell once again, beckoning you to notice the surrounding beauty amidst the frenzy.

We move into the surreal with “Hypnogogic” featuring heavenly echoing voices which construct a floaty atmospheric mood.

More down to earth is “Cold Snap,” the video of which depicts bleak footage of trains running through snow covered landscapes.  The loneliness is tangible in this lost-love song, echoing forlorn repetitions of “It’s so cold without you.”  The words, forgoing guilt and drama, present a simple notable statement.

Echodrone proves its pop abilities with “Pure Nickel,” a catchy tune incorporating the band’s signature layered vocals to create a captivating swirl of sound.

Breathy vocals accompanied by acoustic strums make “Infinite Arms” reminiscent of Pink Floyd.  Rather than fall into the creepiness of the 70’s psychedelic band, Echodrone weaves in softness and beauty through Gibbons’ vocal contribution. The male/female vocals create a depth of longing, jointly singing, “Hold me, now we’re together.  Hold me, take me faster.”

Echodrone’s essence seems best captured in the variations of “Constant.”  This ‘Bon Voyage’ final track begins as a series of experimental resonating notes.  Guitar and drums join into pop rhythms, tempered by mellow psychedelic vocalizations.    A wall of sound erupts after the announcement, “the only constant is here.”   Howling guitars and prominent bass lines alongside directed noise create an awesome soundscape.  Thereafter, calm resumes with cymbal tings and bass plucking, vocals softening to whispers.

Echodrone’s ‘Bon Voyage’ combines lulling psychedelic dreaminess with catchy pop rhythms and captivating soundscapes.

Rating: 5/5