I was initially confounded by Darker My Love (MySpace). Many songs off their sophomore release, aptly titled 2, have the indie pop sound, but the strength behind guitars is quite a bit heavier than your typical “indie pop” band. Then I thought, Well wouldn’t that mean the band fits Power Pop? Granted, power pop is a heavier sounding indie pop, but even that doesn’t fit. For one, there’s too much drone. Then there’s a hefty element of psychedelic rock, and massive traces of shoegaze.
At first, I thought I’d simply remove the precursors and call it pop/rock. That’s a term that fits a bit better; it’s one that can encompass both the heavy drone and massive distortion. But it leaves out the term psychedelic.
Take “Add One To The Other One”. The song is a softer, more shoegaze-y track and its predecessor, “White Composition”, is also psychedelic. The musical reference pops up a few more times in the latter half of 2. In these moments, I feel Darker My Love shows their true colors. As “Add One To The Other One” crescendos from the quiet moments as the song progresses, the tempo also gradually increases. The effect as the tune builds is massive—this is what makes music fans get excited. There’s a similar effect (minus the tempo alterations) in “All The Hurry & Wait”, which transitions flawlessly into “Waves”.
The song change, however masked by transition, leads from the psychedelic to the heavy distortion found early on, then back to the psychedelic in “Talking Words”. It’s moments like these that give Darker My Love an edge compared to artists that fit similar categorizations—the edges are blurred and rubbed away until all that’s left is a combination that flips back and forth between two distinctly different sounds with such effective transitions that you don’t realize a switch has been made until it’s already gone. And there is definite genius in that.