Dark Horses – Black Music album review

The little information I had before listening to Dark Horses release Black Music was irrelevant to me as a listener. I came in a blind forager, completely unaware of any past or future ideas the music may share. Like all the music I’ve enjoyed in my life, Dark Horses doesn’t play safe, but rather is true to something you can fathom as being genuine. Ideas like these, especially in the modern world of pre-fabbed collaborations and corporatized pop, can be scary to some audiences.

The modern tones, working within the bounds of the reaching far-scape of the music served to put me in a place of relaxed contentment. As opposed to forcing ideas on you, Dark Horses seem rather to invite you into a space where you may share in an experience. The approach is reminiscent of the great psybient music coming out of the U.K. and Israel. Now, as I write this, there comes another element to the bands attack, setting their audience off-balance in the way interesting art does. Combining a brimming dredge of melancholy with a punk rock rhythm section of bass guitar and drums, the sometimes glimmer of possible influences of bands like Joy Division and Gary Newman cause the hairs on my arms to stand at attention. The music is a sonic representation of the freedoms that most of their contemporaries shy away from.

We are present for the ever-shaping promise of something to come. When you arrive at the end you’re exactly where you started. Like a dream in which you find yourself waking from sleep, the songs leave a haunting impression that your imagination is infinite. It’s not only the songs as individual expressions that work inside you to cause sensation, but each track shifts into the next with a temperamental anxiety. The music changes, growing into something you least expect at a time when you’ve come to think you understand their intentions. The fuzzy, sometime comatose yet angst-ridden guitar settles on top of you. The lead vocalist sits behind you, her mouth to your ear, and whispers words unknown as you wash away in the calming, tantric beat.

Dark Horses are something fresh. A band that I can only imagine lives for the live performance. Their energy is radiant, needing reciprocated energy to bring the true nature of it all to life. I can imagine a set beginning with “Boxing Day”, the sun setting in the distance, people entranced, uncertain of what the journey they’re embarking on. And as the night grows dim, the purple sky melting to black “Count Me In” might just take their breath away.

In a world in need of artists willing to be themselves, I salute Dark Horses for providing something raw and untamed.

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