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Various Artists – Dark Was The Night (2009)

March 21, 2009

Dark Was The Night is full of lovely indie tunes is a great statement on the healthy state of indie music. A compilation that really has the best artist whoc are championing the direction of indie music. All these wonderful tunes are to benefit Red Hot Organization, a charity that is dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS through the means of pop culture.

The organisation has some pulling power – having worked with many greats in their time. Dark Was The Night is the next instalment in what is an already esteemed compilation series brought out by these guys. This release far surpasses these other releases in that a lot of these artists bring tracks that are out of the square. All of them new releases as well.

I think what makes this compilation stands out is it’s unique collaborations. David Byrne and Dirty Projectors get , The Books’ folktronica seems to obtain a fresh perspective with the cool tones and melodies of Jose Gonzalez on “Cello Song”, Ben Gibbard and Feist channel their country ying and yang under some quiet guitars of voices on “Train Song”, and The National’s Aaron Dessner steps out of his own Band’s sphere by collaborating with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. I supposed he’s able to do that, considering that he and his brother bryce (also in The National).

Speaking of that band, The National also chimes in itself with a jaunty “So Far Around The Bend” that features some wonderful clarinet motifs. The Kronois Quartet was an interesting choice as well, giving the ears a break from all the cadigan lovers indie on the record with the title track. The odd cover is in here as well – Sufjan Stevens takes a break from his state-by-state U.S.A. travelling to deliver a stunning cover of the Castanets’ You Are The Blood, while Cat Power does her best impression of Cat Power with a cover of “Amazing Grace”.

Dark Was The Night is a joy to listen to and a great exercise in showing that great music (and no B side fodder), can provide great listening for a great cause.


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