eau claire is an absolute hotbed for live music; if you need any convincing, just consult an events calendar. aside from touring bands and established local acts that frequent bars and basements, the scene regularly plays host to exciting one-off collaborations that rarely venture into a recording studio. one such exception is ’58 belvedere, an experimental jazz trio featuring three familiar faces: pat kuehn, who lends his upright bass skills to rivers, dave power, the mustachioed drummer for adelyn rose who moonlights under the electronic moniker of white dune, and dean granros, an enigmatic mainstay of eau claire’s live jazz circuit. the outfit is gearing up to release their debut, rustic libertines, in early january, and we’re excited to share its lead single. “i don’t know” is a seven-minute propulsion of the endless ideas that spew forth from granros’ guitar fretboard, which are accompanied by an insistent bass ostinato and crisp drumming. the trio’s interplay on the song’s back half is particularly engaging and serves as a warm introduction for what the rest of rustic libertines will inevitably bring. dig in below.
multi-tasking is fairly common within the eau claire music scene. veterans often lend their talents to a myriad of projects spanning a multitude of genres, from indie rock to hardcore punk to jazz and back again. one who embodies the exact description listed is dave power, who has most notably drummed for local indie stalwarts meridene and adelyn rose, but he’s also spent time loudly punishing his kit in puncher and deftly renegotiating tempos and time signatures in various jazz combos.
over the past year, power has been quietly adding to his repertoire by posting standalone tracks to bandcamp under the moniker of white dune. the singles would appear and disappear with virtually no proclivity, but they offered a glimpse into power’s burgeoning interest in electronic music and his capacity to handle virtually every aspect of the music’s production. after a dry spell and a few delays, power released expanse, his first full-length as white dune, this past tuesday.
what’s striking, especially in comparison to power’s most recognizable work, is how subdued and pensive the music throughout expanse feels. much of the album’s premise is predicated on the marriage of arpeggiated synths and drums – both live and electronic – and while the latter often provides momentum, the songs still retain a somber, introspective quality. power’s adelyn rose companions have guest spots throughout expanse, including a truly haunting vocal feature by jaime hanson on “corbin dallas,” and fellow eau claire producer sloslylove puts his own spin on “good night, mr. bateman” to close out the album.
although just a side-project currently confined to power’s home studio, white dune has proven to be another successful campaign among his many musical endeavors. stream and download expanse at a pay-what-you-want rate below via bandcamp.