Twelve Days Of June is the kind of artist that only comes along once every so often. Armed with his acoustic guitar and powerful performance prowess, Dave Hulegaard — known to us as Twelve Days Of June — sews together the striking sounds of pop, rock and orchestral music that creates sound worlds unique to the up and coming artist. As a self-professed “throwback” artist, Dave is a sonic and spiritual successor to the wide array of 90s bands that have been threaded into the sound.
His recent album ‘Anhedonia’ is a testament to the colourful tapestry these threads have created. His mesmerising take on melodic rock is made all the more charming by his fearless attitude to lyrical content. He boldly tackles topics of love, identity and death. Hey, he even throws some serious shade at Big Pharma. Yet, all the while he offers up moments of real hope and optimism — ‘Silver Stars’ is one of my favourites for this. Yoed Nir’s strings that sweep throughout the sonic landscape are utter ear candy. Sitting at the front of the mix are the confident and completely captivating vocals of Dave himself. He has such a natural performance presence that grounds each track. Whilst the tempo or style of each track is rooted in a different realm, Dave Hulegaard has such gravity in his performance that it sews each song together. ‘The Song Sets over Orchards, Washington’ is another stand out vocal performance from Dave. His tone sways between the intimate moments of despair and bolder refrains with complete ease as he laments about a love lost. His unwavering vulnerability throughout this album makes each track like looking through a peephole into the artist’s life. It would be a cliché to say that you could easily see glimpses of yourself in that peephole too; yet, it would be true. Each of the twelve tracks that make up Anhedonia boast beautiful moments of instrumental interplay. ‘The Perfect Life’ is a perfect example. The acoustic guitar is complimented perfectly by Yoed Nir’s soaring string lines as Adam Soucy’s drums cut through the mix like crystal. In fact, Joshua Holland’s, Brandon Dickert’s and Adam Soucy’s drums are so strong they create the backbone of the whole body of work. They propel forward at just the right moments, pull back when needed and embellish every song with some intricate fills — check out ‘Sunburn’ for some awesome cymbals. Twelve Days Of June has outdone himself with this album. With such a strong sense of musical identity, Anhedonia is a journey through the mesmerising musical magic of Dave Hulegaard and the various collaborators he brought along for the journey. And whilst its namesake may describe the inability to feel any pleasure at all, it’s a real joy to listen to Anhedonia.
By Sasha Lauryn