New Music Saturday: The Black Atlantic’s EP ‘Darkling, I Listen’

The Black Atlantic - Darkling, I Listen

The Black Atlantic - Darkling, I Listen

The Black Atlantic’s new EP “Darkling, I Listen” is a step beyond their previous album “Reverence for Fallen Trees” as they are not sitting on their laurels and are moving into a larger more full sound.  The crew have been huddled together growing their acoustic roots into a more full band sound and brought ‘Darkling’ to life over a few months in spring/summer 2011.  This is not to say they were never a “full band” prior, it is just the music was more of an intimate folk experience while Darkling, I Listen incorporates splashes and bursts of pure indie pop & sonic soundscapes while remaining essentially folk at its core.  Some might compare to the transition of The Black Atlantic’s sound to something along the lines of Bon Iver’s “For Emma…” album to the new “Bon Iver, Bon Iver” album.  But I am just sayin’…

Overview of “Darkling, I Listen” lyrically:

” Lyrically the songs paint the psychological tensions and inward journey of a protagonist who, after an argument, finds himself going through an intense emotional/existential rollercoaster ride.  Over the course of his sleepless night, his past, his reality, and his future appear in a whole new light of day.”

The way the EP transcends the traditional smaller scale of an “Extended Play” release is almost in the way TBA weaves the many musical elements into the songs almost like chapters of a novel.  It builds upon itself and tell stories as well as entertains with songs.  Unabashed with stating influences such as ‘70’s psychedelic folk—rock, Phil Spector-esque orchestrated chamber pop and 60’s Motown soul‘ the songs really grow in scale.  Those that are long time fans and finding my comparison to the ‘new’ sound may be worried, but do not shy away from it, embrace it…as it will you.  You still have songs like the opening track (see below) and the final track “Quiet, Humble Man” that harken to the sombre beauty of earlier works.

Fans may embrace this new Black Atlantic and some may pine for the former…personally, not unlike the Bon Iver analogy I tend to follow the band and enjoy the musical paths they are taking.  Listen to the opening track “The Aftermath (Of This Unfortunate Event)” below.  Find more, stream more, purchase more on their Bandcamp Page.

01 The Aftermath (Of This Unfortunate Event) by Beep! Beep!

Full Track Listing:

Darkling I Listen Tracklisting Artwork

The EP is officially released on January 13th, 2012, but a pre-order now gets you the digital files including artwork.  The artwork is quite extensive and adds to this as a full experience as a release.  A must have.