Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Tell Me” by Dark Dark Dark from the 2012 album Who Needs Who on Supply & Demand.
Formed in Minneapolis in 2006, Dark Dark Dark blend Eastern European folk and New Orleans jazz while channeling it through a distinctly ’90s indie rock aesthetic. Comprised of the core duo of Nona Marie Invie and Marshall LaCount, along with a number of other collaborators, the band eschews pop structure and rock instrumentation for a more baroque, rustic tone not too removed from A Hawk and a Hacksaw or Beirut. Who Needs Who, the band’s third album, was created in the wake of the dissolution of the romantic relationship between Invie and LaCount, and it shows. Themes of loneliness and desperation run throughout the album, but they’re pushed to the forefront on the first single. Reminiscent of the National’s majestic melancholy and Sharon Van Etten’s barbed confessions, “Tell Me” is a brooding lament that finds Invie lamenting the end of her and LaCount’s relationship with devastating precision. As an unsettling, feedback-driven guitar line lingers in the background, Invie moans, “I want to live in the time when you cherished me … tell me it’s there, just beyond me.” Led by a piano and drums rather than accordion and banjo, “Tell Me” is somewhat more conventional than the band’s previous work, but this directness is what makes the equally confessional and accusatory song so strong.
Dark Dark Dark’s only tour dates at the moment are a pair of summer dates in France, but if they return stateside, those dates will be put up on their website and Facebook. Watch the video for “Tell Me” below.