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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Vivian Hua 華婷婷 is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer. As the Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum in Seattle and Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary arts publication, REDEFINE, much of her work unifies her metaphysical interests with her belief that art can positively transform the self and society. She regularly shares human-centered stories through her storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE! In 2020, she will [hopefully] begin production on a comedic Asian-American series entitled Reckless Spirits.

Ask Vivian about MARSHMALLOWS, cuz she's gross... and being tips for being frugal while nomading!

Vivian Hua
vivian.redefine@gmail.com

Vivian Hua 華婷婷 is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer. As the Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum in Seattle and Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary arts publication, REDEFINE, much of her work unifies her metaphysical interests with her belief that art can positively transform the self and society. She regularly shares human-centered stories through her storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE! In 2020, she will [hopefully] begin production on a comedic Asian-American series entitled Reckless Spirits. Ask Vivian about MARSHMALLOWS, cuz she's gross... and being tips for being frugal while nomading!

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