REVIEW: Dark Dark Dark’s Wild Go (Supply and Demand)
by Adam Perry for the East Bay Express
It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Dark Dark Dark frontwoman Nona Marie Invie the goth Joanna Newsom. Invie’s prowess on the piano and accordion nearly matches Newsom’s virtuosic harp work, and her clear, deep-throated confessional and accusatory moans are best used as a means for storytelling. Indeed, on Wild Go (DDD’s second LP) Invie sings of “wind whispering unspeakable things” and “bees that fly over our heads, racing to the woods [to] make honey so sweet.” However, as usual Dark Dark Dark’s wordless moments highlight these songs, choruses tempering accordion, upright bass and piano. Still, on “Something For Myself,” the repeated line “I dance like this”—almost shouted over the aforementioned ghostlike co-ed harmonies—demands the listener’s attention and admiration. But the horror-film industry is in dire need of this band’s music.
In addition to containing dense poetry, Wild Go is a very live-sounding record, as if DDD’s six musicians thrived on playing together on a private stage somewhere. And it’s true—this enchanting, cinematic longplay was recorded at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis; its all-analog glory is about as brash and charming as Wild Go’s cover photo, which features Invie and two of her male bandmates butt naked.
One of those naked dudes is openly gay vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Marshall LaCount (check out a great profile of him last week at Pridesource.com). Similar to his contributions to DDD’s previous releases, LaCount resembles a more melancholy, pokerfaced version of Rufus Wainwright on Wild Go, singing “In a room full of strangers / will anyone dance with me?” LaCount’s songs are part cabaret, part chamber-folk and, like most of DDD’s music, could easily serve as the soundtrack to Tim Burton films: dark, jazzy bass, piano and drums and gypsy-style strings, accordion and attitude. Are you reading this, Mr. Burton?
2 thoughts on “CD REVIEW: Dark Dark Dark “Wild Go””
It was great finding out about this band through this article.
However, I have to disagree with the Joanna Newsom comparison. I’d say she’s a lot closer to something in between Alela Diane and Regina Spektor. Maybe you could throw some Bat For Lashes in the mix to add some of the “darkness”. And the lyrics, albeit beautiful and certainly poetic, could not, in my opinion, be compared to Newsom’s extremely complex and genius verses.
All great points. However, I think you can compare one artist to another without suggesting that they’re equally “good” or “genius.” There are ambitiously playful elements of orchestration and lyricism in Newsom’s music that I think have something in common with what DDD does, but I’m not yet ready to say that DDD is at the creative or musical level of Newsom. She’s singularly amazing.