Dark Dark Dark “Wild Go” (Influenza)
Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: Influenza, Music, Twin Cities.
Having released the band’s full-length debut, The Snow Magic, in 2008, Minneapolis’ Dark Dark Dark quickly built a reputation for standing outside any single genre, or single city, actually, as the group roamed between the Twin Cities, New York, and New Orleans. In his review of the album The Line of Best Fit‘s Adam Nelson commented on how the band’s music “Ambles out of the speakers like something from an age gone by,” while Absolute Punk‘ Travis Parno expanded on the makeup of the group’s sound, calling it “One part cabaret, one part lonely train ride under darkened skies.” While maintaining a hectic touring schedule Dark Dark Dark still managed to find time to release a pair of EPs: last year’s Snow Magic Remixes and this spring’s six-song Bright Bright Bright, which City Pages‘ Erik Thompson praised for its “impassioned, engrossing songs” which contrast “hushed emotion” with dynamic instrumentation “reminiscent of the brass-infused cabaret sound of Beirut.”
This month the band returned with Wild Go, the group’s sophomore release which found Dark Dark Dark comfortably settle into their recently expanded lineup. In discussing the album, Reviler‘s Jon Behm focused on two songs in particular, weighing in on their individual idiosyncrasies: the “Slavic infused ‘In Your Dreams’ which is punctuated by a profoundly deep men’s chorus” and the “accordion and piano dirge ‘Daydreaming,’ in which [Nona Marie] Invie again shines.” It would seem as though the two tracks stand out to the group’s Marshall LaCount as well, as he recently focused on both “Daydreaming,” the album’s lead single, and “In Your Dreams” for the latest installment of Influenza. In choosing between which track to hone in on, LaCount eventually settled into the creative process behind “In Your Dreams” and how the band’s nomadic tendencies led them to Europe where the song eventually sprouted as a product the group’s experiences.
Seriously, I was going to choose “Daydreaming” because it’s obvious. It’s beautiful and spacious. It’s the first single. It has an official video. It was written in response to Elephant Micah’s “Wild Goose Chase,” which was written in response to Hazel and Alice’s “Ramblin’ (Wo)man,” which was written in response to Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man.” That’s a lot of back story and music history. That’s interesting stuff. It’s the way folk, or in Nona‘s case, some kind of subtly epic chamber folk pop, music happens. She rides around on her bike saying “Ooh ooh, ooh ooh,” for two weeks, and then the rest of the song happens in one hour at the piano. It’s the first and only time guitar appears on any of our recordings, three EPs and two full lengths in, which we were proud of. It’s the first time the banjo got to behave like a noise and texture instrument, fully electric and hidden behind vintage effects. That’s all fine and dandy, but that kind of talk smells like carpet from the ’70s, and wood panel walls, and maybe the stale cigarettes and beer of some rocker’s practice space.
I’d rather choose “In Your Dreams,” except all I can remember is rehearsing the choir parts with the crew from a project called The Swimming Cities of Serenissima, sitting in a grove on what felt like our own private island near Venice, Italy called Isola della Certosa. I asked Nona where she wrote it. Couch surfing at Massimo’s in Vicenza? He was a total stranger that four of us ended up living with for two weeks, writing and rehearsing for the project. He was a good cook and a great host. He seemed fond of women from foreign countries, and it didn’t always come across as completely innocent. In Eindhoven, Netherlands? We were in Europe a lot that year, not only touring, but working on these collective art projects with Miss Rockaway and the Swimming Cities. I’m not trying to brag. I’m trying to share how fortunate we’ve felt and how grateful we are. I just haven’t gotten there. Okay, this is weird now. I still pick “In Your Dreams.” It’s the only time we’ve gotten to “Hah-um” and snap our fingers, and it’s fun. I love the drums on it, too. Working with Brett [Bullion] has been so nice.
[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]