Dark Dark Dark’s rich history is punctuated by house shows and train hopping; touring as support for The National in Portugal; playing both the National and TV on the Radio’s ATP Festivals, and years of indefatigable coast-to-coast U.S. touring. It’s a history rich with recordings, including a pair of celebrated full-lengths produced by Tom Herbers (Low, The Cactus Blossoms), three EPs, and a feature film score. Now, ten years later, –– surprise –– a new 10” single.
In 2013, when Dark Dark Dark released the What I Needed EP, anyone might have guessed it was a bridge between the previous year’s lauded LP Who Needs Who and the next big venture. The band had closed out 2012 as part of Australia's touring Harvest Festival, during which they stepped up to fill an unexpectedly vacant slot much later in the day, enchanting thousands of unsuspecting festivalgoers. Alas, after that, the band went silent.
The release of these new songs is certainly delightful and perhaps startling, as is the promise of more solo work from singer Nona Marie Invie. On the gorgeous and stately “Didn’t I Try,” Invie’s voice is elegant as ever, couched in the familiar sounds of Marshall LaCount’s distorted banjo and Mark Trecka’s roiling drums. The loping and haunted “Something Was There” follows –– a staple ofDark Dark Dark’s live sets in the last year of their touring.
Fans of contemporaries Weyes Blood (of which DDD multi-instrumentalist Walt McClements is now a full-time member) and Angel Olsen (in whose live and studio band Invie is now a staple) will find much to love in these songs, as well as the b-side, Invie’s solo piece, “For Now” which, not unlike Invie’s 2017 solo release under the moniker IN / VIA, makes use of seamlessly interwoven piano and swelling, liquid synthesizer. Invie sounds a bit like an alternate dimension Sharon Van Etten here and elsewhere. The three song set has the understated intensity of Nick Cave’s The Boatman’s Call and the promise of emotional liftoff that characterizes Kate Bush’s The Sensual World.
Considering this band's history, their distinctive and dramatic sense of identity, this music is really and truly for fans of Dark Dark Dark.