Darian Donovan Thomas “Florida Water Lake”

Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and all-around leading light Darian Donovan Thomas connects with the outer worlds on the luminous Florida Water Lake. His work is always transcendental as if it exists in another dimension, beamed here from some great beyond. Thomas has an uncanny sense of movement within his sound, turning subtle shifts into grandiose affirmations, wrapping listeners in a mesmeric aural cocoon. 

Devotions rise like ethereal tides on the title track, the combination of Thomas’s intoxicating violin playing and looped, inviting vocals a handheld out from another dimension inviting us in. Opening notes glimmer in the rainbow lake, light dancing quietly across the surface. The atmosphere is delicate, but deeper intrusions loom in the deep end. Gilded strings sing enchanted memories as Thomas’s violin work digs in its claws, rising above like a celestial echo. 

As I lie in the grass, eyes closed, I am drifting away. Maximal drones explode, but the heaviness is ghostlike and Thomas’s voice a spiritual siren call. The deep bass is exorcising, physical. Burdens lift and fade into nothingness as Thomas sings the song of all times, sending reverberations through time and space. “Florida Water Lake” is stunning, magical.

“Pith of Crepuscule” is the place to go once troubles have been shed and the load feels weightless. A slow build of gentle piano and glittering synths are a backdrop for Thomas’s heavenly, layered vocals. Saturated with an uplifting earnestness, his words raise everyone skyward. Electronics go from a flicker to a flutter while the piano slows down and Thomas’s doubled voice builds in strength before, after a pause and a sign, “Pith of Crepuscule” explodes out of the banks. Backed by Ben Sloan’s progressive groove, Thomas sings, “This song isn’t pitiful it is purely dialectic,” and we go on and on. Florida Water Lake is everything.

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