Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not so dark, definitely not mean.

An album four years in the making!

A band recording in seclusion in the woods!

Insert other cryptic pull-quotes that merit exclamation points (!!!!) and italics.

Ultimately, Dark Mean's debut LP is just really good. Period.

A trio from Steel Town, Canada (aka Hamilton, Ontario), Dark Mean began work on a full-length in 2007 and released two EPs in the interim (Frankencottage and Music Box) which built steam, and interest in this, their self-titled debut. And just like it took a while to make, it takes a while to digest. It's a slow-burner, but ultimately those are the fires that provide the most warmth and last the longest. Dark Mean play a brand of indie-folk that bands like The Wilderness of Manitoba and The Deep Dark Woods also perform (though not as symphonic as the former nor as 70's AM radio as the latter). It's a music where you can hear the notes breathe on the quiet parts, but isn't afraid to shout like it's lost in the woods now and then (see: "Lullaby"). The song that ultimately won me over was "Finland," with its gorgeous trumpet line - I'm a sucker for horns and handclaps - but there are many entry points and reasons to love this little album.

The video for "Happy Banjo" is below, and is available as a free MP3 if you provide your email address over at the band's website.

Happy Banjo from Dark Mean on Vimeo.

You can purchase Dark Mean via Bandcamp.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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