Upon reading two very emotional reviews of Spectral Dusk, the new album from Evening Hymns, it was clear that this was an album that invoked a strong emotional response for a lot of people. In his new album, Jonas Bonnetta, the core member of Evening Hymns, is trying to deal with his own grief after the loss of his father and though he might not have intended it to, Spectral Dusk is helping others deal with their personal grief too, making it truly a thing of beauty.
Marking only the second album for Jonas Bonnetta, its lyrical depth feels way beyond that of a second album. Occasionally accompanied vocally by Sylvie Smith and instrumentally by members of The Wooden Sky and Timber Timbre among others, Spectral Dusk ranges from stark acoustic songs, which makes sense as the album was recorded in a cabin in Northern Ontario, to thunderous multi-instrumental inclusions. In the end though, all produce a haunting atmosphere that carries throughout.
“You and Jake” is one of the many extremely touching songs from Spectral Dusk. A primarily solo acoustic song, Bonnetta captures what would seem like a simple memory – “I can still see you and Jake smoking smokes and just dreaming big” – but with his quiet hushed vocals telling you of the memory, you are suddenly reminded how the little moments in life can be important too.
The boisterous “Cabin In The Burn,” the tender “Asleep in the Pews,” where Bonnetta sings a like that pretty much sums up the sentiment of the album – “It was hard to explain all the pain that was running through me” – and “Spirit In The Sky” where Bonnetta again speaks of a moment in time that happened, or he wishes could happen, for a trio of heartache.
At the end of Spectral Dusk, the title track provides the perfect ode from a son to his father. Though the whole album incorporates this emotion, “Spectral Dusk” balances Bonnetta’s passion in his voice, his sombre lyrics, and electric guitar inclusion to a tee all ending with a field recording from the forest.
Jonas Bonnetta and the rest of the collective Evening Hymns have created a stunning sophomore album with Spectral Dusk. Already moving many with its sentiment, it will continue to do so for a long time.
Top Tracks: “You and Jake,” “Asleep in the Pews,” “Spectral Dusk”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) + *swoop*
Watch the video for “Family Tree” below: