Going solo after the end of the renowned Elephant Revival, Daniel Rodriguez entered a new world. His music changed, some of his relationships changed, and the world changed around him. That’s where his new album Sojourn of a Burning Sun finds us. Stepping away from some of the more existential elements of Elephant Revival but taking the smokey folk music with him, Rodriguez safely steers his boat to that lonely island meant just for him.
Sojourn of a Burning Sun is an incredibly subtle album. Subdued and meandering, production-wise the instrumentation is a warm blanket for Rodriguez’s sultry vocals and inspired song writing. Skillfully crafted at Grace Design studios in Lyons, Colorado, the music lends itself to the simplicity of Rodriguez’s delivery and brings something new to the table for longtime Elephant Revival fans.
While the stripped down nature of the album is more often than not incredibly engrossing, asking someone who is not familiar with Rodriguez’s work to stay focused for the whole album could be a tall ask. The album works great as something to throw on to zen out to or in small pieces to really soak in the nuances, but it doesn’t quite hit that sweet spot in the middle.
The press will say that Rodriguez has a classic sound, but that’s disputable. While his music does feel timeless, he is very much a musician of this time and place. That “classic” feeling comes from the fact that he writes about things people have been going through since the human race learned to make music, but he is very much telling those stories firmly planted in the present. He is clearly giving us his story, and the strength of this album will allow fans to find their own story within it.