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Human Giving – Darto (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Darto_'Human_Giving'_LP_(cover).jpgWhat I’m still trying to fathom out is how Darto manage to sound both bucolic and anthemic at the same time. How can songs, which seem to be pastoral, gently chiming, sonorous lullabies through one ear, suddenly sound like they are the most rousing of folk charges or rock wig-outs just by changing the way that you as a listener approach them? And it is their balance of widescreen cosmic Americana, neo-psychedelic pop vibes and experimental post-folk, post-rock…post-everything that sets up this wonderful conflict and also shows a band with an astute sense of when to play to their strengths and when to just swing for it, to hit out and hope.

The diverse nature of the album illustrates the bands easy facility for mixing together a variety of textures, drawn from all corners of the musical spectrum, and blends them into an oddly cohesive sound without allowing one style to smother the other voices. One moment the listener is offered spoken narrative pieces, the next sumptuous West Coast retro-pop, post-punk pasts meet post-rock futures, florid baroque grandeur meets restrained minimalism, musical minds meet and meld and opposites seem to effortlessly attract and form new musical partnerships.

For all the albums brave, uncompromising nature and the bands willingness to break interesting new ground there are no gaping holes or head scratching moments, which often come as the price you pay for such forward thinking musical quests. Instead Darto’s impressive confidence comes through on every moment of the album and they pursue their ambitious musical goals which they never once appear to strain meeting.

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