It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Dark Dark Dark frontwoman Nona Marie Invie the goth Joanna Newsom. Invie’s prowess on the piano and accordion nearly matches Newsom’s virtuosic harp work, and her clear, deep-throated, confessional and accusatory moans are best used as a means for storytelling. Indeed, on Wild Go (the group’s second LP) Invie sings of wind whispering unspeakable things and bees that fly over our heads, racing to the woods [to] make honey so sweet. As usual, Dark Dark Dark’s wordless moments set the tone, with accordion tempering the upright bass and piano. Still, on “Something For Myself,” the repeated line I dance like this — almost shouted over the ghostly backup harmonies — demands the listener’s attention. The horror-film industry could really benefit from this band’s music.
In addition to containing dense poetry, Wild Go is a very live-sounding record. It was recorded at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis, and its all-analog glory is about as brash and charming as Wild Go‘s cover photo, which features Invie and two of her male bandmates butt-naked. One of those naked dudes is openly gay vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Marshall LaCount, whose pokerfaced demeanor belies the fragility of his lyrics (In a room full of strangers/Will anyone dance with me?) LaCount’s songs are part cabaret, part chamber-folk and, like most of DDD’s music, could easily serve as the soundtrack to Tim Burton films: dark, jazzy bass, piano and drums and gypsy-style strings, accordion, and attitude. Are you reading this, Mr. Burton? (Supply and Demand)