Dark Dark Horse is the collaboration of former Kyte and current Maybeshewill member Jamie Ward and Kids in Cars vocalist James Stafford. Together both have structured a simple but beautifully orchestrated song craft. The results from this co-operation can now be heard from debut full length ‘Centuries’, a reflectively woven brand of electronica.
As a record, ‘Centuries’ is well delivered in its output; the sampling and layering upon the electronic soundscape is therapeutic and graceful in its entirety. The electronic either shimmers in a fading ambiance or blips and ripples like a pulsating heartbeat. This provides a strong foundation for the warm dreary vocals provided by Stafford. You can just picture yourself looking lost in a mirror for some sort of answer to a life altering question. This formula is prettily beholden in its seemingly reflective atmosphere on tracks such as ‘In a Lifetime Before’.
Every so often additional instruments are applied to firmly tighten the delivery. The tapping bells on ‘Southwest of Orion’ and the clean acoustic notes on ‘Midnight Mass’ are fine examples of this. These additional appliances help to channel the band’s consistency upon a gentle and euphoric river. The epitome of this belongs to the 8 minute grandeur of ‘Mercury Nevada’. The way that the lead piano moves along the fading ambiance from the start is comforting to the tip.
All in all, Ward and Stafford’s work on this full length has certainly paid off. They’ve create a decent slab of therapeutic electronica with warming vocals and a relaxing atmosphere. If there was a record this year that you need to calm down to after a stressful day, then this reviewer will point you to the direction of this one.
‘Centuries’ by Dark Dark Horse is out now on Function Records.
Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)