NSFWknd: THE DRUMS, No Joy, Jay Som, Tim Darcy (Ought)

Parade of Flesh presents

NSFWknd: THE DRUMS, No Joy, Jay Som, Tim Darcy (Ought)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

7:00 pm

Trees

Dallas, TX

This event is all ages

the Drums
the Drums
The Drums offer the unlikeliest of hybrids, and stage a clash in their songs between wildly opposing aesthetics and ideas, as though Sun Records and Factory Records had joined forces. Let's Go Surfing, their debut single, released on Moshi Moshi (who put out early records by Hot Chip, Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires and Kate Nash), features New Order-style trebly, melodic bass, Ventures-esque guitar, and what many are calling "the most infectious whistling line since Peter, Bjorn and John."

"We originally set out to start a band that sounded like The Wake," say The Drums, referring to the quintessential doleful mid-80s Factory band. And then, nailing their aesthetic, they add: "[But] there's an instant gratification in straightforward music. That's why we love the 1950s. It was the beginning of basic pop music. They did it from scratch and pulled these amazing, timeless melodies out of thin air." It's a combination that may not seem logical, but when you hear it you'll know you need it, you've gotta have it and it's what you've always been looking for.
No Joy
No Joy
The album bears the fruits of a band that has refined its work ethic in the gulf of time between recording sessions. The outcome – a juxtaposition of unrest and calm, beauty and chaos, truth and fantasy, in the throes of maxed-out amps and hair-whipping guitar goddess rock music – is as unwavering as ever.

Where No Joy's last album, Wait To Pleasure balanced textural differences with the freewheeling novelty of the studio environment, More Faithful documents a much more rigorous creative process and performance. For More Faithful No Joy worked with musician and producer Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Chairlift, Lansing-Dreiden). Recording was split between tracking at Brooklyn studio Gary's Electric and an old farmhouse in Costa Rica.

In this rural Costa Rican setting, Elbrecht created a makeshift but nurturing studio environment where he and No Joy did the mixing, overdubs and cut vocals for 12 hours a day. Repairing themselves to an isolated environment strengthened No Joy's regimented approach to making a record that satisfied their vision.

There is no question that More Faithful is the most forward, throttling record No Joy has made, taking their sound to the wall in a brazen display of beauty-laced power. At times More Faithful is heavier than anything they've done yet, while also their fastest – riffs shooting upward in discord and drifting down in angelic harmonies.
Jay Som
Jay Som
Jay Som represents the musical vision of Bay Area singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Melina Duterte. Jay Som - a moniker that Duterte randomly found via an online baby name generator meaning “Victory Moon” - reissues Turn Into this Fall, a collection of finished and unfinished songs written, recorded, and mixed between March 2014-October 2015. Originally uploaded to Bandcamp last year after Duterte had a few too many glasses of wine at Thanksgiving dinner, Turn Into is an exciting glimpse of what’s to come for Jay Som on her debut album in 2017.
Tim Darcy (Ought)
Tim Darcy (Ought)
Saturday Night, the first proper solo album from Tim Darcy (Ought), comes from one of those crossroads-type moments in life where one has to walk to the edge before knowing which way to proceed. Darcy actually almost bailed on the session at the start of day one, but was thankfully convinced to make the jump and record a crop of songs he had been amassing over the years--an initial set, curated from a much wider catalogue of young songs. A personal meditation reveals itself across these songs as you feel a poetic, thoughtful person attempting to reconcile a schism, one that grows more expansive as Saturday Night flows along. It is a journey, but it's a really fun, gratifying one; like a poem where you're not supposed to know exactly how to feel at that last line and you're left just bursting with a wonderful emptiness.

As this is, in a way, a more personal introduction to Darcy despite the attention and acclaim he has with Ought, it feels worthwhile to mention his origins. Born in Arizona, he made his way to both Colorado and New Hampshire before ending up in Montreal where he found university, the city's rich DIY scene, and the other members of Ought. He began writing poetry as early as the third grade and performed often, and his first attempts at songwriting were him feeling around in the dark to set some of them to music. In Montreal, he played in various projects, his and others, before settling into a groove as the singer and guitarist of Ought.

Saturday Night feels not just coherent but constant. Each track is woven to the next in a winding, complex journey through a charged, continuous present. They feel as if they've been brought together by a strong impulse, recorded in a very particular moment. The bright, ghostly choir that lingers around the edges of the album and Tim's tuned-between-radio stations guitar appear as characters in a cast of songs that at times breathe like folk music and at others hit like full-band rock tunes. There are love/love lost songs like the standout, almost-New Wave "Still Waking Up" in which a Smiths-esque melody builds upon an underbrush that recalls 60s AM pop and country. Darcy's unmistakable, commanding voice and lyrical phrasing are, as they are in Ought, an instrument here: vital to the entire affair. He over-enunciates. He makes mantras out of molehills. He whoops and croons. He makes damn sure you know there are no tossed-off lines here.

At the same time there is an evident softness in these songs and an accompanying musicality. While there are moments that take their strength in sparseness, Darcy is unafraid to paint in economic technicolor as his wry lyricism floats nimbly upon chorused guitars and the occasional synthetic artifact. The tracks that start each turn of the record pull like ripcords that then earn the nimble, ambient expanses each harmoniously settles with. In between, Darcy presents warm, near-psychedelic folk exploration ("Joan Pt 1, 2") of Joan of Arc and the righteous anger of femininity on the way down to a final, crystalline and existential piano-and-voice ballad ("What'd You Release?").

The title comes in part from the nights and weekends when it was recorded: a six month period that overlapped with the recording of Ought's second album where Darcy gathered with friends to record in the storage room of a commercial studio. It also comes from the album's title track: a bowed-guitar epic where the whole album seems to crack wide open as Darcy repeats the phrase "Wish I'd ran away sooner to save time" and indeed wanders out alone, as if into a field, questioning the very nature of changing, shifting, and growing as we do as humans, asking: "Does a bush ever think, where do I grow to be seen?" Saturday Night sounds like a person exploring his voice in a room full of people he trusts: joyful, shot through with struggle, unfakeably honest. Intimate and rollicking as a house show, delicate as a late-night phone call.

There's a line in "Tall Glass of Water," the album's Velvet Underground-nodding opening track, where Darcy asks himself a rhetorical question: "if at the end of the river, there is more river, would you dare to swim again?" He barely pauses before the answer: "Yes, surely I will stay, and I am not afraid. I went under once, I'll go under once again." That river shows up again and again in the lyrics of Saturday Night. It's about how wonderful it can be to feel in touch with that inner current. It's about how good it feels to make art, and how terrifying; how you don't always get to choose whether you're swimming or drowning as we grow and move through life, just that you're going to keep diving in. That's the impulse that links all the songs on Saturday Night, makes them glow.
Venue Information:
Trees
2709 Elm Street
Dallas, TX, 75226
http://treesdallas.com/