Featured photo by Jed DeMoss
One of my favorite albums of 2013 was from the Nicolas Jaar/Dave Harrington project Darkside. That album, Psychic, was a mixture of slow motion electronics and Dave Gilmour-like guitar licks. A cross between Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons, and Four Tet all mixed into this unique, slow burn of a record. Jaar is an electro wizard and production genius, and Harrington is a subtle guitar God that goes for vibes and feel more than virtuosic runs.
Darkside called it quits in 2014 after a farewell show at the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn. Recently the two released a live album PSYCHIC LIVE JULY 17 2014. Now we have the news that the duo have finished a new album called Spiral, which will be released in the spring of 2021 via Matador Records.
Here’s the news via Matador Records:
Dormant since the close of touring for their debut full-length, ‘Psychic’, the group quietly reconvened in 2018 to begin writing new music.
Following more than a year of work, Harrington and Jaar completed ‘Spiral’, the second DARKSIDE album, in December of 2019, which has been mixed by Rashad Becker, mastered by Heba Kadry, and will be released this spring.
I have to say, I’m pretty excited about this one. I wasn’t familiar with Jaar or Harrington’s work prior to this band, but have since educated myself on the body of work of both of these musicians. Darkside is this unique pocket of creativity and vibe that I’m hard pressed to find anywhere else. That slow motion production mixed with Harrington’s tasteful guitar playing seems to be the perfect coming together of sound and groove.
With the new track “Liberty Bell” everything is coming together perfectly. Downtempo, late night vibes mix with the low key vocals and tasteful guitar licks. You can almost see a haze of weed smoke simmering in the low lights of some lower east side apartment as bodies come in and out of focus. The vocals, oddly enough, put me in mind of The Beta Band’s Steve Mason, which only makes this track all the more inviting.
It’s not often we get good music news this late in the year, so consider this one of those Christmas miracles. You know, like snow on Christmas Eve, no arguing about politics at the dining room table, a Gibson Les Paul under the Christmas tree, or a BMW in the driveway with a big red bow wrapped around it. Something like that.
Check out “Liberty Bell” below. And if you haven’t heard ‘Psychic’ before, go do that as well.