WITH PASSION | Dark Dark Dark

SWEPT AWAY: Dark Dark Dark, a chamber-folk caravan of six, is led by songstress Nona Marie Invie and her not-always-merry band of gypsy revelers. They’re set to release a new record, “Wild Go”, on October 5, 2010, following on the heels of their six-song EP, “Bright Bright Bright”. The sextet’s sound is lush, textured, and sweeping — with a mingling of crying violins, romantic trumpet, swirls of playful accordion, ghostly piano chords, floating clarinet, and Invie’s stark vocals (sounding a lot like Chan Marshall) or like Fiona Apple on their track “Something For Myself”. The song begins with a subdued, circular piano rhythm and these enigmatic lyrics, “This is it / I’ll leave with it / The last time / The last time / I dance like this / Dance like this / I dance like this / Dance like this.”

The strangely intoxicating feel of Dark Dark Dark’s music rests in the careful balance of the somber and the romantic. Not necessarily romantic love, but the old poetic notion of romance. The romance that means to bask in the billowing nature of emotion, whether it’s through feelings of loneliness, passion, love, friendship, or confusion. It’s about the beauty of getting to know yourself and the world better, and sometimes just letting go and taking it all in.

You can hear that passion in “Make Time”, a song tossing out pretty lyrical imagery like the random rummage of the heart. All are welcome. Marshall LaCount sings dreamily, “I’ll take you swimming / Follow me”,  followed by the Beatles-esque chorus of his bandmates, “Make time, where there is none, for the sea.” It’s part eerie dirge, part childhood enchantment. “I’ll build you a boat out of lightning / And fill it with pearls / We’ll float …” The song expands into wave after wave of group harmonies as heaving as the sea. A trumpet joins in, giving the song a Spanish flair.

The arrangement will make you feel like you want to join this band, skipping along some Parisian backstreet behind their pied-pipers, Invie and LaCount. “The Hand” is an elegant French cafe jazz with serious swing. The down-tempo “Wild Goose Chase” is a winsome wonder with exquisitely gentle piano chords adding a soft line under Invie’s nostalgic serenading. This is a highly inventive group, peculiar and breathtaking. Listen to their EP here. Or go to their website to pre-order the new LP. Listen to a new track, “Daydreaming”, from the band’s upcoming release. — David D. Robbins Jr.

Song below: Dark Dark Dark “Daydreaming”

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