Darkstar – News From Nowhere/Amplified Ease [Album/Video Review]

Ever seen Rubber Johnny? Ever heard Animal Collective?

The video/sound of Darkstar’s new single ‘Amplified Ease’ from their new album News From Nowhere is exactly the combination of those two things. So much so that it’s been criticized as being a blatant attempt on Warp/the band’s part to simply be more like Animal Collective. Now, maybe it’s because I’m not too in the know on both the modern indie scene and the older works of Darkstar, but I quite enjoy this track. It’s nowhere near as groundbreaking or unique as we have come to expect from Warp – but it’s good music nonetheless. It’s catchy, ethereal, strange, and similar, with a fun video to boot. Maybe this won’t sit with you in the most meaningful of ways or spark some sort of hidden epiphany, but it’ll certainly sit at a comfy place on your indie playlist.

That being said, I really wish they had chosen another single off the album. After hearing ‘Amplified Ease’, I was sure the rest of the album would be chalk-full of similar indie-pop chillwave dream songs, and minus the pop I may very well have been right. The album starts off phenomenally dreamy with ‘Light Body Clock Starter’, setting the mood with gliding, reverb filled guitar lines and filling synths. ‘Timeaway’ would have made for an excellent video, with an interesting riff and hard not to listen to vocal line, I can see a wonderfully creative and less Rubber Johnny dependent video coming out of it. Why smash their faces against stuff? Seems to contradict the feeling of the rest of the album. It’s all so happy and dark at the same time – hearing broken beat, dark, emotionally charged tracks like ‘A Day’s Pay For A Day’s Work’ makes the ‘Amplified Ease’ video feel ever more out of place.

All in all, the album does seem to borrow pretty heavily from Animal Collective. But who gave them the single patent on this kind of music anyways? I’ll go ahead and mix em all together and dream away on a sun soaked highway outside of LA. Thug life.

You can stream the album on their website.

P.S: The more I listen, the less reverb I think it needs. Tone down the atmospheres Darkstar! I can’t hear anything with all these huge decay times.

P.P.S: Do I detect a subtle Grandadddy influence as well?