Album Review: Dan Webb – Sunshine/Dialogue

Dan Webb is a Melbourne, Australia-based producer who has just hit my radar thanks to his experimental new album formed from interviews with other artists. It’s called Sunshine/Dialogue.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Janine McGuinness

Sunshine/Dialogue consists of twelve tracks all inspired by and created from a separate interview. The interviews took place over four years and included Grammy Award winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and emerging indie upstarts. The conversations were then converted through the lens of jazz to create a collection that feels utterly unique.

The story starts with Drifter. A jaunty and groovy opening, it feels at once familiar yet fresh thanks to its combination of classical and modern elements. The melody loops nicely, building up a head of steam before reaching a pleasing conclusion. It’s a lovely start.

A Good Song is inspired by a conversation with Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier and actually features his recorded words in the composition. Dan felt the words were so impactful he had to base the track, and the album, around them. It’s a wonderfully abstract piece that gets you thinking as much as it gets you feeling.

Europa is delicate with an undercurrent of lo-fi hip-hop. Sungenre is a brief moment of psychedelic rock while Florence Street has a lick of acid jazz about it. Sunshine rounds off the album’s first half with percussion-heavy, shoegaze-tinged maximalist rock.

The second half of the album gives us a trio of vignettes – the bright and whimsical Ice Kachang, and the freaky, electro-infused pair of Divide and Conquer. Dialogue is a meandering jazz meditation while Ollie plunges us deep into underwater psychedelia for a moment. Back To You closes the album with some surprise romantic acoustic rock.

This album, and A Good Song in particular, makes the point that passing judgement on good and bad when it comes to music is counter-productive and stifles creativity. There can be no greater example of this than this album. Dan casts aside tradition and forges a new path with Sunshine/Dialogue, switching genre at ease and disappearing down exciting rabbit holes. If, like me, you’re desperate for some musical innovation, then this is an album for you. You can listen to it below.