Dark Dark Dark – Wild Go Album Review

With their latest disc, Wild Go, Dark Dark Dark has honed in on a vibe that is equal parts gypsy and jazz. Aided by dual male-female vocals and a complementary combination of strings, accordion, and piano, Wild Go is packed to the brim with content, which ultimately proves to be a good and a bad thing.

 

Starting off on a high note with the danceable gypsy-folk number, “In Your Dreams,” the album alternates between this style and that of somber ballads. And despite the fact that this Minneapolis-based band has six members, it is in the simplicity of its ballads where its greatest successes lie — mostly thanks to the vocals of Nona Marie Invie. On the nostalgia-inducing “Daydreaming,” Invie repetitively sings, “Oh, if you knew what it meant to me,” and it is distinctly memorable. Her crisp, soaring melodies in “Something For Myself” are the same; these melodies, when delivered by Invie, are enveloping mantras to store into your brain for the long haul.

For some unfortunate reason, though, the ten-track album feels like a marathon of a listening experience. Poor song sequencing plays a key detrimental role; rowdy tracks are sandwiched between ballads, their sudden introductions and disappearances giving them the feeling of being much too jam-packed. The third track of the album, “Heavy Heart,” hints to potentially interesting new ideas, by way of a lack of predictable song structure and instrumentation. But when a male vocalist and a focus on electric guitar are introduced — both fairly rare on this album — it begins to feel a bit too unfocused. The slower side of Dark Dark Dark’s songs face problems as well; too many tracks seem to center around waltzy time signatures, which makes them seem to creep by, even when they are enjoyable in isolation.

With a bit of work, Dark Dark Dark could be successful as a lighter, more playful counterpart to a band like Bowerbirds. For now, though, Wild Go is merely a solid effort with a few stellar ideas and some forgettable ones.

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Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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