Darker My Love – 2
Engineered by Steven Rhodes
Recorded at Sunset Sound, Safe & Sound, The Boat, Sonora and West Beach in Los Angeles
Mixed by Tony Hoffer
Mastered by Alan Yoshida, Produced by Dave Cooley
Darker My Love, Dangerbird Records’ latest shining star, is back on the scene with their aptly titled sophomore album, 2. While the L.A. five-piece’s 2006 self-titled debut featured an uninhibited rawness, 2 offers more clarity in musical thought and a greater variety of sounds. Darker My Love encompasses myriad genres, from psychedelic 1960s rock to early grunge, and excels in using these influences to create a highly accessible and energetically emotive experience.
The album opens with the dark “Northern Soul” exuding elements of a Sub Pop-era Soundgarden with a healthy dose of My Bloody Valentine. Vocals, a key component of the band’s overall sound, are perfectly drenched by saturated instrumentation and smooth harmonies. A steady bass drum drives while vocals slip in on offbeats, creating a nice push and pull between the two. “Two Ways Out” marks the most distinguished departure from this opening impression; vocals are placed at the forefront of a track produced with a greater pop sensibility. “White Composition” effectively utilizes empty space with a feathery-light, Beatles-esque vibe and crisp, jazzy seventh chords. It offers a calm pop, a sort of groove/lounge duality. Near the end of the LP is “All the Hurry & Wait.” The heart of this track showcases a zither-like warbling that’s anxiously free, and psychedelic swirls and crashes culminate into one great masterpiece of a song that builds into a huge orchestral finish with an outro made to fill stadiums. It’s a glorious pinnacle that’s epic and big.
Darker My Love’s 2 points to a number of influences without attaching itself too long to any one of them, each track arriving fresh to the ears and providing its own unique sound. It’s an impressive exhibition of quality songwriting, clever instrumentation and thoughtful production. But most importantly, it just sounds really good. (Dangerbird Records)
-Keane Li (more…)