Tim Darcy is probably better known as the guy from Ought, a band I'm not entirely familiar with. That said, after hearing Saturday Night, Darcy's debut solo album, out Friday on Jagjaguwar, I feel like I want -- need -- to hear everything else this guy has recorded.
Saturday Night is full of fuzzy bits of intimate indie that each bristle with heart and spark. "You Felt Comfort" blazes past like an old Chris Knox solo record, all melody and riffage jutting up against each other, and that one is immediately followed by the rather gentle "Still Waking Up", Tim Buckley updated for a new century. The 2 cuts I've just named illustrate the more accessible parts of Saturday Night. The title cut, of course, is another story altogether. The number is harrowing and stark, discordant guitar lines and sluggish drums anchoring the mournful tune that's carried by Tim's vocals. Elsewhere, on the sorrowful "Found My Limit", Darcy veers into neo-folk territory, touching something that is reminiscent of Will Oldham stuff, while the stunning "What'd You Release?" echoes the best Leonard Cohen material with the sort of starkness that few are capable of pulling off so successfully.
As this is Tim Darcy's debut solo album it seems fair to say that the mix of styles on this record is to be expected; the guy is testing the waters outside of his usual gig with Ought. On some level, the mix works as each cut showcases Darcy's brand of serious indie. Still, I'd have liked to have more cuts like opener "Tall Drink of Water", frankly, as its charms are a bit more direct than some of the "sadder" numbers here.
[Photo: Shawn Brackbrill]