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Bold Victorian piano chords are struck and ring to the rafters. Drums chime in jazz circles and cymbal stops. A frightened woman repeatedly cries, “Oh, the unspeakable things!” No, this isn’t a horror movie; it’s Dark Dark Dark’s brooding tune “Daydreaming.”
That’s right, Dark Dark Dark, a sprawling seven-member chamber-folk group from Minnesota. Led by singer Nona Marie Invie, the band wraps around ghostly vocals with atmosphere that echoes skyward. Wild Go, their sophomore effort, was released in 2010. Some Dark Dark Dark tunes radiate a strange vibe, like you’ve stumbled upon a secret group of escaped circus freaks holding a bizarre ritual. “Celebrate” utilizes an accordion-pumped melody straight from the carnival. The anxious percussion and background howls on “Flood” paint a morosely twisted scene.
Dark Dark Dark is definitely haunting, eerie, otherworldly, etc. But their late-night melancholy is, at the same time, uplifting and beautiful. “Robert” hums like the prettiest Regina Spektor song with its swift ivory strokes. Even the last-one-at-the-bar feel of “Daydreaming” allows room for Dark Dark Dark to breathe a sigh of sweet release, even if it’s between whiskey gulps.
“Oh, if you knew what it meant to me,” laments Invie, but it’s the audience that’s more likely to “Daydream” about this, once they’ve heard Dark Dark Dark.