Label: Modus Records Release date: 16/06/09 Website: Just because I slowly drifted off into sleep during my first run-through of Cinnamon Chasers’ debut EP A Million Miles from Home doesn’t mean that it was boring. There were several factors that contributed to this descent into the world of dreams: first of all, it was half past one o’clock in the morning, and second of all, the subtle mix of acoustic guitar and buoyant synths on “Candle Lights” had no trouble easing my mind into a detailed fantasy dreamscape. Don’t let this seeming laziness cast doubt on my reviewing capabilities. Falling asleep during my premier listen gave me a visual, visceral feel of A Million Miles from Here unattainable by a conscious, sober mind. The poppy beats and dominant riffs of “Luv Deluxe” created images of falling, at once pleasant and urgent, mingled with a pink aura of lovely satisfaction. As the song ushered in the darker “Modern Love,” my fall lurched into more mysterious depths, which only the airy “Ray of Sun” could lift me out of. While the moods varied on the surface, each song adhered to the universal paradigm of falling, and I became lost in Cinnamon Chasers’ world of fantasy, my drop guided only by the rhythms of the music and the surreal landscapes it conjured. Just to be sure that this was a manifestation of the music and not of the manic mind, I decided to give A Million Miles from Home a few active listens just in case. Lo and behold! Cinnamon Chasers is equally effective in the real world as the fantasy land it inspires within the unconscious. The change in moods between “Luv Deluxe” and “Modern Love” that I explored in my dream can now fully be appreciated in its full glory as a critique of ideal and contemporary romance. The dark, jagged synth riffs in “Adored” are inspired and tangible in their own right, and the song itself is worthy of comparison to the best songs by genre behemoths The Knife. Most outstanding is “Jetstreams,” a song with themes and sounds so epic that it nearly defies all definition that spares the use of hyperbolic metaphor. It is, essentially, a veritable laser light show for the ears, driven by a pulsating bass line. The song’s larger-than-life quality, coupled with distant echoing vocals, makes “Jetstreams” as colorful in the waking world as it is in the sleeping. Every aspect of A Million Miles from Home has an expertly crafted balance that prevents it from approaching any unsavory extremes. A balance of elevated anthems such as “Jetstreams” and chillout tunes like “Candle Lights” prevents the album from becoming too overreaching or tedious, respectively. Aggressive synth lines and ebullient laser effects are accompanied by acoustic guitar and soothing textural melodies throughout the album. Themes are also in equilibrium, with the sympathetic “White Flag” and “Your Heart isn’t Open Anymore” contrasting the paranoia-tinged “I Like to Watch You” and vaguely sinister “Adored.” Russ Davies, the man behind the pseudonym, lends his ethereal voice to most of the tracks, breathing a refreshing taste of humanity over the generally simple electronic beats. These beats, while naturally repetitive, are never repetitious. No, there is nothing boring about A Million Miles from Here. On the contrary, the ever-shifting moods and textures were simply too entrancing, and they sucked me in like a dinghy in a whirlpool. And though I fell asleep, the music did not cease, it just strengthened. After all, this is the stuff that dreams are made of. Rating: 9.5/10