Around here, when you've got an overqualified waiter, a UNC employee, an artist and a writer lumped in together, you're probably talking about a band. And in the case of local four-piece the Daybreakers, you'd be right. Shane Hartman, Mark Derewicz, Peyton Myrick and Andrew Schatzburg evolved from fledgling musicians into a full-blown group about three years ago after a series of back-to-back coincidental meetings around town seemed fated, looking back from the band's new self-released debut album, Planet.
Much like famed mutant superheroes the X-Men, each member of the Daybreakers has his own special talent, ranging from studio smarts to album cover design to womanizing and--thank goodness--a knack for songwriting. And while the Daybreakers live in Chapel Hill, they've created a soundtrack that evokes the Pacific Coast: 10 songs that flow into each other without break. During a trip to the West Coast to collect his thoughts, lead vocalist and songwriter Andrew Schatzberg kept a journal of his experiences. These writings provided the raw material for Planet, resulting in a musical and lyrical dynamic that combines ocean and landscape imagery.
On the surface, the outcome is stream-of-consciousness jamming--perfect for a drop-top drive up the Pacific Coast Highway. A few layers down, however, there's an introspective ambience loaded with loops and layers and darkener textures reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Although the music sometimes gets heavy and wistful, the album's focus is ultimately hopeful. On "Broken Glass," Schatzberg's vocals come through as if in a dream: Innocence/Being washed out to sea/To be cleansed/For an eternity. This seems to be the album's message and theme, not to mention a metaphor for the band's work: knowledge filtered through retrospection leads to hope and possibility. --lynn bryan bannon