Yes, so I basically don’t have to write the review now because I put everything in the title.
Tim Darcy popped up in my music suggestions with his song “Still waking up” which is such a beautiful ode to Roy Orbison that my constant yearning for nostalgic and melancholic music was immediately satisfied.
However, his album “Saturday Night” is actually a lot spunkier than that one (gorgeous) song. It starts off with a punk ditty called “Tall Glass of Water” which is probably about Darcy himself who, yes, is a tall glass of water. I’ve read comparisons with Lou Reed and I guess that’s fair (even though I don’t like Lou Reed all that much and very much like Tim Darcy). Songs like “Saturday Night” are pretty much experimental Lou Reed and there’s no way around it.
BUT! The album in general is an interesting and rather accomplished dance of stretching different styles and genres without losing coherence. It’s quite astounding how seamlessly the weirdest combinations are strung together without feeling out of place (the song before “Saturday Night”, for example, (“First Final Days”) is a beautiful instrumental that just oozes calm before “Saturday Night” shoves you into a cold warehouse on an open mic night full of Warholian poets.
There is the inherent coolness of the early to mid 70s New York punk scene, Darcy singing most of his rougher songs like he’s telling you about his weekend. The way he strings along the beat and the guitar is weirdly mesmerizing. You want to listen and you keep listening which might also be aided by the production which feels lo-fi (I assume it is not that lo-fi) and therefore has this intimacy of sitting right there next to Darcy and listening in.
It’s all the more endearing because the garage punk gets switched up with the already mentioned moments of Roy Orbison glory, when the closeness makes way for a beautiful echo, suddenly luscious melodies and Darcy’s voice that technically doesn’t change that much but suddenly feels different, like some people look different when they change their posture.
I mean, give it up for Darcy since he’s the first musician in ages who is neither sounding like 80s pop or country and still managed to excite me. And yes, I am late to the game because the album was released last year (even early last year) but you know that my days of being on time with musical trends are over (and never were much fun in the first place).
I am just grateful that I discovered Darcy in February because the Winter months after December are always pretty tough and I love music like this. The laid back, “shit’s just like that, what can you do”, swaggy and also quite humorous album that gets you up, gets you going, gets you smiling but also gets you a little melancholic at times and most importantly gets you through that trash heap of Winter depression, news cycles and whatever else.
By the way: the internet tells me that Darcy is part of the group Ought and is already known for his – I am quoting Pitchfork’s Stuart Berman here – “most wily and witty” songwriting. And with lines like:
You’ve got a tall glass of water, and you’re bored with it
I kinda get what Berman means.
Since I haven’t had the time yet to get into the lyrics (goddamn, artists, just put them on your homepage, these are music lyrics, not some Dan Brown-conspiracy-inducing secret formula to shake up the Catholic church), so I can just assume that he indeed has a knack for writing smart, dark but not fatalistic lyrics.
Get that whole shebang on Bandcamp.