Monday, January 30, 2012

TotW: Shaking Down the Old Bones

The Darcys are going to win you over. And you over there. And you in the back. One way or another, these guys are going to make it... they've already been through far too much not to. Oh, and I should mention that they're also quite amazing.

Rather than go into everything that's happened to the band since they formed way back in 2007, let me direct you to a Toronto Star article from last March; Ben Rayner covers it all pretty well in there if you're interested. Long story, short: after surprise line-up changes, struggles with producers, money and labels, these guys have stuck it out, evolved, and are currently making new fans with the help of Murray Lightburn (The Dears) and the still-influential, Toronto -based Arts & Crafts label.

Trying to describe these guys is hard; I hear The National, radiohead, Elbow and - more obviously - The Dears and Steely Dan, in their sound. The lead single from their self-titled album, Don't Bleed Me, is a short, rockin' blast of a single. It doesn't conform exactly to your standard verse- chorus- verse structure, and it's not easy to declare it as a guitar -driven track exactly... but it's both of these, and neither of these. It's sonically muddy, in a good way, and the vocals are forward in the mix right up until the last 30 seconds of beautiful, layered, noise.

The song I've highlighted as my Track of the Week, Shaking Down the Old Bones, starts off as very Kid A -era radiohead -heavy. It's a lot quieter than the aforementioned single, but there is still a lot going on here. The drummer, while understated in the first half of the track, is still very solid. The haunting vocals are floating along just perfectly here. The latter half of the song tells the story with conversation style lyrics overtop the instrumentation. A great way to end a 5+ minute song.

Have a listen on CBC Radio3 if you'd like (linked below), or head right to the band's website (linked above) to download - for free - not only their debut album on A&C, but also their follow-up, a complete cover of the 1977 jazz-rock classic, Steely Dan's album, Aja. Exclaim! has all the details on how this came to be. Not surprisingly, I've heard it already and it's likewise impressive.

» Listen: The Darcy's - Shaking Down the Old Bones

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