Despite sharing genes with one of the most powerful soul men of the last fifty years, Dylan McDonald and the Avians have painstakingly created a sound that’s all their own, combining clever pop songwriting with lush arrangements ripped straight from ’60s and ’70s rock. It’s a little country, a little garage rock, and nothing but perfect. Basically, if you locked Ryan Adams and Tame Impala in a studio together, it would come out sounding something like this. And it would be glorious.
Their first album, Out From The Door, was a science fiction-inspired grab bag of psychedelic rock and futuristic folk. Songs like “Welcome to the Land of the Avians” and “The Trip” find the band halfway between Tom Petty and The Flaming Lips, which isn’t nearly as weird as you’d imagine. The lyrics might be a little far out sometimes, but the songwriting never suffers as a result.
But though his trippy, space-based lyrics and album covers make it seem like Dylan McDonald has his head in the stars, it’s clear that he has a profound respect for the roots of modern country and rock. The fuzzed-up bass, lush strings and swirling organs keep one foot in 1960s garage rock, while quieter moments like his classic cover of the folk ballad “Scarborough Fair” with Cassidy Cooper show just how deep his appreciation for great songwriting goes.
Their most recent album, Fueled by Dreams of the Future, is full of clever lyrics, beautiful arrangements, and more than a few high-octane guitar solos. Give it a listen and prepare to discover the Land of the Avians for yourself at LouFest!