Feature: Dominic Breen – Blue Volume
The long-awaited debut album Blue Volume from Sydney’s Dominic Breen was unleashed upon eager listeners with a warm reception, diving into themes of identity, anxiety, hope, disillusionment, yearning, and love.
Recorded in Sydney with Tim Fitz (Middle Kids) on production and mixing, and Matthew Neighbour (Matt Corby, The Avalanches) on mastering, Breen reflects on its creation: “It was a strange time. I had a job lined up in the Gibson desert. I was ready to throw in the towel on the life I’d been working on. I’d just started taking lamotrigine, this anticonvulsant medication used to treat bipolar. I was trying to quit smoking. The first Covid waves were beginning to break and uncertainty loomed. Here we were, Tim and I, burrowed away in an attic producing these yearn jams, and outside, in between it all, I was starting to fall in love again, and Tim had just become a father.”
Blue Volume is a gorgeous, bold, and textural statement. Each song is its own little microcosm, yet the whole thing fits together perfectly like a 10 piece jigsaw. It features acclaimed singles ‘James Street Tonight’, ‘Lovelost’, ‘Under Your Sorrow’ and most recent single ‘Real Hard Week’, which was just picked by Dave Ruby Howe for the Triple J Unearthed podcast.
Among the new tracks, there are gorgeous moments of longing (‘Please Change Your Mind’), raucous alt-country (‘The Place Where All Good Dreams Get Lost’), and sparkling dream-pop (‘Give Me a Drink From The Cup of Your Hand’ – which features guest drums from Middle Kids’ Harry Day and a beautiful Cocteau Twins-esque backing vocal from singer/songwriter Georgia Mulligan – one of only a few songs on the record in which every instrument wasn’t handled by Breen and Fitz).
Breen says of the album; “Blue Volume is kinda like a constellation. It’s constructed with lots of different experiences, adversities, people, some connected and similar, others far apart and totally disparate. Some shine brightly and others are cloaked and less obvious. It can be seen as a singular thing if you look at it a certain way, and it will illustrate a picture for you, or point you in a direction. I think the way it appears to you will depend on where you are and how you are. Whatever you get from it is true, but not true for everyone.”
Blue Volume is out now via Double Drummer