Dusk’s fading sunbeams hang over the outstretched ocean, a reflection of light on rippling waves guides a seance to conjure tones of solace. Turn On The Sunlight, Carlos Niño and Jesse Peterson’s weightless vehicle, are joined by Pablo Calogero and Mia Doi Todd in the crystalline waters. Drives To The Beach is a gossamer hymn to adventures led by the changing sky; a world where multi-hued spirits dance along the horizon and invite us all to hear their revenant whispers.
From the beginning of opener “Frogs,” it’s clear that Niño and Peterson set up Drives To The Beach for Calogero to star. Magical waves of saxophone, flute, and bass clarinet move lithely across the celestial landscape. Clicking out hypnotic rhythms while looping repeating arpeggios over reverb-soaked guitar chords and gentle frog purrs, Calogero’s feet never touch the ground. “Horizon” soaks in the moonlight with Mia Doi Todd’s wordless vocals becoming a luminous sprite. Chimes glisten like starlight as sanguine drones lilt in the cool air before Calogero’s saxophone puts a cotton candy exclamation point toward the end. Beautiful.
Turn On The Sunlight creates spaces to let go. It’s music that lends itself just as easily to contemplation as clearing our minds and drifting away. Synth pads open up and sing on “Sailing,” an expansive journey through distant realms. Resonant percussion sweeps across the arrangement, a pointed counterbalance to the dense drones beneath. Saxophone passages glide effortlessly across the surface leaving a trail of gold dust in their wake. It’s beautiful here and the water is warm.
Textures created from sonic dust are the lifeblood of Drives To The Beach. Niño and Peterson fuse them together into intriguing shapes that bind together to form this enchanted world. Right until the end in the underwater expanse of “Whales,” with is soothing waves and electronics, Calogero calls out to anyone in earshot to take a breath, to listen. Turn On The Sunlight continues to search for meaning or at least a place where daydreams run wild and the air is crisp.