By: Curtis Sindrey –
The third album from Minneapolis folk rockers Dark Dark Dark entitled Who Needs Who, while not as visually intriguing as 2010’s Wild Go, which depicts a naked Nona Marie Invie (lead vocals, piano, accordion), it’s a strong follow-up with its eclectic mix of genres like, folk, pop, Americana and New Orleans jazz, and varying emotional depth.
The Regina Spektor-fronted Beirut vocal styles of lead singer Invie provides the landscapes of love, lost and the memories that are etched in our psyche which are seamlessly stitched together to display a portrait of the modern human condition.
At first listen, the album echoes a full orchestra with its use of horns, like on the track “It’s A Secret,” but in reality, what you’re really hearing is a five-piece band that can do much more with less.
Invie is more open in her songwriting, unlike in Wild Go, where she was more protective of her feelings spilling out in the lyrics and preferring for the listener to take what they will from the songs.
The track “Patsy Cline,” is less of an homage to the legendary country star and more of a short story on the disintegration of a relationship and the eventual fall-out. As she sings, “And if I said I never thought of you well that would be a lie,” and the chorus “I thought that we’d meet up in a week or two and we’d slow dance to Patsy Cline,” it reveals a love story that is perfect enough for a hit country song.
“How It Went Down,” describes a couple out on the town who have contrasting maturity levels with the verse, “I am young and you are young and we grow. Now you are young and it feels like I’ve grown old.” The city provides the architectural divide between them making it one of the stronger tracks of the album.
Who Needs Who provides an eclectic mix of lyrical depth and strong musicianship along with tracks that offer the listener notes, theories and anecdotes to mull over and ultimately appreciate.