Posted on April 1st, 2015 (3:00 pm) by Magdalene Taylor

The latest album from gloom pop duo Darkness Falls, Dance and Cry, is a deeply feminine work. The Danish group’s second release is filled with gothy pop tracks that flow effortlessly, emphasizing the emotional lyrics and vocals while somehow maintaining complexity in a sound that is ultimately quite simple. Each song has a confessional quality, whether it be an address to alienation in love or holding hands with one’s sadness. Darkness Falls seems to be drawing from the same internal place as Lana Del Rey, musing upon the trials of young womanhood in a poetic form while celebrating the pop tradition with a cool hint of irony. Darkness Falls has channelled this energy into a sound that is cathartic, redemptive, and serious, all while maintaining smooth, gloomy minimalism.

While you might choose to ignore the lyrics of Dance and Cry, as one might for any other pop song and manage to enjoy the rhythm alone, Darkness Falls’ sound itself is undeniably sad. Nevertheless, it maintains a bittersweet pop appeal. The rhythms are, on the whole, minimalistic and slow, with small details such as a light twinkling in the opening track, “Night Games,” layered over a simple drum machine repetition. This minimalism characterizes the entirety of the instrumental aspects of the album, though it also leaves room for emotional variety. Two of the best songs on the album, “Dance and Cry” and “My Father Told Me (He Was Wrong),” deliver a higher energy, danceable quality, while “Golden Bells” plays upon a beautiful, gloomy softness.

The real focus of the album, however, is the lyrical content and the ways in which the rest of the album serves to highlight it. The simplicity of the instrumentals is what mainly does the trick. The lyrics have a deep sense of narrative and confession in a majority of the tracks, emerging strongest in the self-titled track, “Darkness Falls,” which opens with a Simon and Garfunkel-esque “Darkness my old friend…” and is followed by lyrics in which the singer speaks directly to her personified sadness, referring to it as her “true companion” and “the passion of [her] life.” However, the confessional quality continues to have its greatest appeal in the aforementioned higher energy songs like “Dance and Cry.” Here, there seems to be a sense of deep clarity and even light hope. “Dance and Cry” does not come across as overly melodramatic, but as the right amount of expression and sadness to be cathartic.

Dance and Cry would be stronger if a majority of the songs had the same power as the focal dance tracks. Still, the album’s ability to have variance while maintaining core cohesion is a strength in itself. Darkness Falls reveal their insecurities with Dance and Cry, and have presented them in a way that cleanly emphasizes their highly personal form.

Track List:

  1. Night Games
  2. The Answer
  3. Liar’s Kiss
  4. Dance and Cry
  5. Golden Bells
  6. Darkness Falls
  7. Paradise Trilogy I
  8. Hazy
  9. My Father Told Me (He Was Wrong)
  10. Midsummer Wail
  11. Thunder Roads
Darkness Falls - Dance and Cry Review
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

71 / 100
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