Ought are one of our favourite bands here at the towers and much of the enjoyment we get is down to singer Tim Darcy's twangy distinctive vocals and oddball lyrical dexterity. If we thought his solo work was going to go down the weird route of his excellent tape collaboration with AJ Cornell then from early teasers this could be a surprise sounding very much like the Strokes or Parquet Courts.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 16 February 2017
In any given Ought song, you can count on Tim Darcy to come to the party. He hates it, of course, and spends most of the time amusing himself by slicing the cake of social etiquette, asking existential questions in mundane situations and satirising the people talking back at him. Ought’s last, most brilliant record, boasted a scorching track called “Beautiful Blue Skies”, which saw Darcy exorcise suburban routine by repeating small talk cliches until they became somehow nuclear. On Ought songs, Darcy’s mad because he’s hanging out with reality; he’s world-weary because he’s in the world.
Therein lies your crucial difference between an Ought album and a Tim Darcy solo album, which now exists courtesy of Jagjaguwar. Having recently released a noise record with AJ Cornell on NNA Tapes -- ‘Too Significant To Ignore’, in which he contributed spoken word commuter hellscapes -- he now releases a record even more odd in shape. It is exponentially weird: it starts off with a nonplussed guitar rawk tune that sounds Velvets influenced with just enough jangle -- from there, though, it’s like we’re watching Darcy’s version of Inception, as we dip in and out of more typical setups for dreamier, drone-ier and all together more surreal territories.
It’s a fucking trip. Darcy loses grip a few times, in a few different ways: on the meandering, faraway “Joan Pt 1, 2” he sounds cramped into another compartment of the world, his guitar stretching out like it’s been placed in a distorted mirror. He then clamours together a few lousy chords for the sluggish but anthemic “You Felt Comfort”, which sounds like if you spilled your Ought song. He soaks the Smithsy chords of “Still Waking Up” with subliminal, ghostly synths that recall Julianna Barwick’s new age; he starts making string-stressed drone rock Tony Conrad would be proud of on “Saturday Nights”. He just about does it all, slowly abandoning his despised reality for a dreamworld he can live in forever. You have to listen to it in full because you have to sink from its highest point to its lowest.
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