The Sunrise Machine drops May 12.
The Sunrise Machine drops May 12.
Lucero Rodriguez

Dallas Prog Rock Act Great Heart Finds Transcendence on The Sunrise Machine EP

Great Heart is the progressive and psychedelic solo project from Andrew Moss, and the music lives up to the name of the project.

The Sunrise Machine EP is dripping with real, heartfelt emotion that will have listeners exploring ideas of self-reflection, heartbreak and personal salvation on what Moss describes as “a cathartic journey of self-expression.”

“Making this record was paramount for me,” Moss says. “I had all these things I was dealing with emotionally and needed a way to turn them into something positive. These songs provide a window into what I’ve been dealing with for the last 18 months.”

Moss’ sound is a rich combination of flanging guitars, pulsing analog synthesizers and reverberated harmonic croons. The result is a dreamy, genre-defying sound that lures and captivates listeners.

Recorded at Test Tube Audio in Austin, The Sunrise Machine is not ostensibly a concept album or a rock opera, but there does seem to be a certain thematic story line that can be followed through Moss’ eloquent language.

The EP begins with a haunting instrumental, “The Search,” which sounds like a UFO making its landing in world filled with doubt, and fades into “Desert Places,” which finds the speaker questioning his surroundings.

“What’s all of this that lies before me?” he wonders, realizing that everything he encounters is really hiding behind “a wall of undertones.”

In the next verse, the speaker turns his attention to the people who live to deceive: “I have never seen you look so colorful, covering transcendent players — a broken mirror for the soul.”

All of this deception — people and their actions — becomes “A body glove for me, to where in desert places, sewn from fibers torn from sad and hopeless spaces,” which when worn instead of ignored can ironically “be so healing.”

The band’s first single, “The Golden Rectangle” (available on Bandcamp), continues the theme of uncertainty in finding new horizons where the skies are unfamiliar and the body does not feel quite whole.

“Mr. Monocle” finds the speaker looking into the mirror in a recapitulation of Lacan’s Mirror Stage — where one must grapple with the fact that they do not feel whole even when the mirror presents them as a complete being, leaving the speaker pleading to the mirror, “revive me in your ways.”

Things pick up on “Through the Wallpaper” where the speaker finds the resolve to break through the wallpaper and see the light on the other side — the sun and the moon — giving the impression that the search for light might always be tinged with darkness, but the effort is still worth making.

The album ends with the title track “Sunrise Machine” — what Moss describes as “the redemption hymn” — finally giving us that glimmer of hope with its heavy guitars and up-tempo beat. Then sun may have fallen on him before, but he is determined to watch it come back up.

The EP release show for The Sunrise Machine is at 5 p.m. tomorrow at Josey Records, and Great Heart will be perfectly paired the synth pop duo Secrecies, whose music and lyrics often speak to the passing away of time.

For the performance, Moss wants audiences “to see a 35-year-old musician trying to cope with the challenges 30 somethings face.”

The Sunrise Machine will be available on CD, cassette tape, and digital download as of tomorrow before the show.

“I hope people take away the feeling of how difficult the real can be, but also there will always be a new day — a day to look forward to," Moss says.

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