Psychic by Darkside
I’m a bit at a loss on how to begin this review of Psychic, the phenomenal debut album from Darkside, a collaboration between Nicolas Jarr and Dave Harrington. I don’t really have a clue how to describe it. All I know is, if you haven’t heard the album yet, you absolutely must stop whatever it is you were doing before you started reading this post and hit play on the above video. (And yes, this is a video and that is not a still image. It is an extreme slow-mo shot of a house burning down. Seriously.)
You may have heard of Jarr, an electronic musician, from his many remixes or various other slow dance ventures over the past few years. He also released a solo album that reached a modest following in 2011 called Space Is Only Noise. Harrington, a multi-instrumentalist, is unknown to me outside of this project. Together, Jarr and Harrington have managed to create an album that is indescribable by modern day standards. This is an album more fit for the early 80s, where the clash of guitars and spacey landscapes of electronic sound defined an era dominated by Pink Floyd.
When I first heard the album — shortly after it was released in October — I reached out to a good friend to tell him about it. I thought he’d love the album, because it reminds me so much of Pink Floyd, a band I knew he loved. It was with complete innocence that I suggested he should listen to it. The irony of suggesting a band called Darkside to someone who loves Pink Floyd was completely lost on me until he started laughing.
Be that as it may, the connection to Pink Floyd is still there for me. This album is spacey, layered in such a way that I continue to hear new things in it every time I listen, even after multiple plays in my headphones. The album is almost entirely instrumental, and when a voice does flow in, it’s more melodic and treated as one of the instruments, rather than front and center.
Apologies for the dumbfounded nature of this review. Just listen to it, will you?
8. AMOK by Atoms for Peace
9. White Lighter by Typhoon
10. Hummingbird by Local Natives
11. If You Leave by Daughter
12. Pedestrian Verse by Frightened Rabbit
13. The Silver Gymnasium by Okkervil River
14. The Next Day by David Bowie
15. Reflektor by Arcade Fire
16. We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic by Foxygen
17. Lanters by Son Lux
18. Howlin’ by Jagwar Ma
19. Impersonator by Majical Cloudz
20. Dream Cave by Cloud Control
21. Mole City by Quasi
22. Phantogram by Phantogram
23. Julia With Blue Jeans On by Moonface
24. Uncanney Valley by The Dismemberment Plan
25. Event II by Deltron 3030
26. Wise Up Ghost by Elvis Costello and The Roots
27. Us Alone by Hayden
28. Pure Heroine by Lorde
29. Shaking the Habitual by The Knife
30. False Idols by Tricky
31. Let’s Be Still by The Head and the Heart