Review: Dark Dark Dark – Wild Go (2010)
2010 has been a big year for bands hailing from Minneapolis, and Dark Dark Dark has been swept up in the action. With the release of, Wild Go, (Supply and Demand) the bands sophomore album taking flight and bringing us along for the ride. The ride, I warn you is honest and heart breaking.
With an array of instruments from accordion, and banjo to upright bass and piano the instrumentation is just as haunting as the lyrics. Nona Marie Invie’s hauntingly beautiful voice will give you shivers. As if a ghost were gently blowing on your neck and stroking your hair. Along with Nona is Marshall LaCount, her male counterpart. With sounds ranging from folk chamber to Eastern European, this band has evolved and solidified since their debut album, The Snow Magic.
“Daydreaming” starts out the album, quite fitting setting a dreamscape feel. It’s not hard to imagine Invie and her piano in an old apartment recalling a lost love. Her lyrics have a way of nostalgic storytelling. She plays a smart trick on the listeners by only revealing what she wants you to know. Oh if you knew what it meant to me./ Oh, the unspeakable things. With a relation to the listener, she keeps the “unspeakable things” under-wraps and up for you to decide.
While Invie gives many of the vocals on this album, LaCount sings the lament of a broken heart on the aptly titled “Heavy Heart”. A song that starts out with LaCount singing, In a room full of people will anyone dance with me?/My heart is heavy will anyone dance with me?, just before the band comes in with an intense burst of folk instrumentation . Lacount also dominates the vocals on Right Path. Where a simplistic drum beat sets the tone, with a variation of woodwinds and strings to back him up.
Quite possibly my personally favorite track, Wild Go hauntingly finishes the album. Opening the track are background vocals that emulate a whispering wind, accompanied by lush woodwinds and piano. The kind of wind that you hear at the height of a before the storm evening. The darkest song on the album, and possibly the most heartbreaking, Branches push through the walls/to carry a past that we don’t see/and everything as it was/the world stands still without us. Towards the end of the song as if weeping herself, Invie sighs, rivers flow/where they could not grow repeatedly while the violin and accordion play out.
Wild Go is a heartbreaking breath of fresh air. While filled with personal reflection and realization this album stays off the beaten path of “Emo” or “sad bastard” music. No two songs are alike, yet they are all compelling. Every song is carefully orchestrated and organic. This album is hauntingly lush and filled with surprises in both lyrics and instrumentation. Painting a cinematic landscape, Wild Go will take you places you never thought of, if you let it. Invie’s lyrics are emotionally charged with out being forced. With every song she makes the keys weep for more and your ears begging for another song. The next chance you have to catch this sextet is at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, MN on December 8th at 8 PM. For more tour dates check their website.