Eddie Chacon has relaxation and intensity fight it out on Sundown, a beautifully worked piece that grapples with smooth soul stylings. Soothing tones that let a listener get comfortable, enough time to unwind and lower the defences. Then, as with all the works found on Chacon’s second album, a rush comes through. He surges past expectations and throws a hook or beat in there that ruptures the complacency of calmness. Sundown is a wonderful experiment, and those soulful beats and movements are the core. Opening track Step By Step sets the scene nicely, the softer touches of Chacon’s lyrical placements are key to engaging this nicely pieced-together selection.
Soothing tones built around one steady instrument and allow for switches and changes to come from nowhere are the real core of Sundown. Chacon provides writing and style that feels somewhat unhinged from reality yet comes closely tied to personable and impressionable moments. Far Away could not get closer to that, recognising the distance between people and the heartbreak that fills the gap in between. Those trickling final moments, the absorbent saxophone toward the end, are as beautiful as it gets for Sundown. Hazy charms continue the whole way through for Chacon, who has maintained the hypnagogic state his songs create. Charming and sincerely moving at their very best, eight tracks are all Chacon needs to drive through such a raw, intimate setting. Comes and Goes does that best of all, with a flutter of sensual late-60s appeal right there for the taking.
Take it Chacon does, and for the rest of Sundown, with the mood laid out and the intentions as clear as day, he strikes through with such a wonderful consistency. Sundown has the quiet effectiveness of a confident track, and it shows. Chacon does not boast or brag his way through this but steadies his course for wonderful results. He and John Carroll Kirby, the Pharoah Sanders-influenced momentum that carries the pair through, it all comes together with just and meaningful immediacy. Chacon has taken hold of where he finds himself in life, reflects with a calming ambition and brings it all back home, bringing all these experiences together in the quiet spaces and the learnings of his time alive. There are moments here that, when looked at through the lens of what Chacon has done with his career before this, are truly beyond the pale. Unimaginably gorgeous.
Where Sundown may lose its way at times, particularly the lighter, vacant structures of Haunted Memories, it makes up for it with powerful pieces to follow. Same Old Song is a terrifying oddity, a piece that inflicts such a unique charm and has a vocal intonation like that of Marianne Faithfull. The trip-like beats of The Morning Sun have that dejected appeal to it. Both a beautiful equaliser that brings a sense of touching everyone yet also a defeated and introspective piece that relies on those crooning, droning notes. Smooth, stylish and honest is the triple Chacon aims for and he hits each with vibrancy and instrumental passion. There is real love at the core of this unique and powerful project, a definite and assured release that comes from, ironically, doubtful reflections.