Darto Releases ‘Human Giving’ LP and joint Darto / WAND 7” plus New Video for ‘No-Self’
U.S. release on September 8. U.K. release on September 22.
““I Am” is a catchy sultry melancholic downtempo synth-infused psych-trip combining the best of Cate Le Bon, The Velvet Underground, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Black Ryder. The keyboards and strings seemingly propel the movement and the lyrics with instrumentation seem to induce a trance-like feeling” – The Big Takeover Magazine
“Experimental rock outfit Darto are into something. That something is called dichotomy. Mixing together adventurousness with playfulness, they have crafted a sound that is both challenging and accessible. This can be heard on recent track ‘No Self’. With repetitive and hypnotic vocals, jagged guitar stabs, and yet a lightness that is endearing, the track pushes the boundaries but at no time does the track lose sight of what is most important. Namely, that’s being memorable” – Overblown Magazine
Aagoo Records has just released two packages of goodness simultaneously: The first is ‘Human Giving’, a full length album from Seattle-based four-piece Darto. The second is the ‘Follow Up / Hush’7” featuring Darto and WAND, who wrote and performed these tracks together. Today they also released the new creepy video for ‘No-Self’.
‘Human Giving’ was preceded by the single ‘I Am’, which The Big Takeover Magazine calls “a catchy sultry melancholic downtempo synth-infused psych-trip combining the best of Cate Le Bon, The Velvet Underground, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Black Ryder”.
The album’s mood is immediately clear from the first note of ‘GDLS’, enveloping the space around the listener. By the time ‘I Am’ enters, the sound and feeling transitions from lush and inviting, to focused and intentional with the keyboards and strings propelling the movement. The lyrics and accompanying melodies float along seamlessly like being lulled into a dream.
“Despite all of its catchy qualities, ‘Human Giving’ is a difficult album to pin down. The lyrical phrasing, and melodies have been stuck in my head for months,” says Alec Dartley of Aagoo Records. “It takes me to a place filled with light, despite the psych realms the band takes us”.
As the record progresses, splashes of Americana seem to emerge, painting subtle pictures of the American West, or a vast expanse that we would associate it with. It’s a momentary visit to those places as Darto keeps moving, exploring new worlds. The album closes in a cinematic soft way, where the constant is an emotional hook that dives into the human condition. This is an open story, suggestive but with room for the listener to fill in the blanks.
“We didn’t play shows or hardly go to shows for a year and a half so we could write and record the album,” says Darto’s Gordon De Los Santos. “The album comes from the places within us where hope and love exist. Where the focus is not on the self, and where everything is possible. Humans giving themselves to other humans. The power of listening on all fronts. The desired effect is and was to bring hope in some capacity.”
“We are extremely proud of this record. Writing, recording, mixing and mastering was the most intentional musical experience we have had to date. We took a lot of chances on it, and grew exponentially in the process,” says Gregory Flores. It felt, and feels like we walked through many doors while working on it, and the place we ended up is very similar to the place where we were as young people first deciding to create. A vulnerable first step towards something larger.”
Darto is Gordon De Los Santos, Gregory Flores, Candace Harter, Nicholas Merz. ‘Human Giving’ was recorded by Darto between September 2015 and January 2016 in a cabin in Cle Elum, WA and their home in Seattle. The ‘Follow Up / Hush’ 7″ was written, performed and recorded by Darto and Wand at Comp-ny in Burbank, CA in April 2017. It was engineered and recorded by Be Hussey. Both releases were mixed by Cory Hanson at Comp-ny and mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering in Ventura, CA.
“We smashed together in Los Angeles and wrote these two songs; repurposed lyrics we wrote in the studio together. A lot of people got to sing who had never sung on record before,” says Cory Hanson of WAND. “All in all, this was a successful collaboration I think. The spirit of both bands made it onto the tape together, intact. We ate breakfast burritos the next morning, then Darto flew away. I went to go to the beach but our car died in Topanga Canyon”.
Aagoo Records is home to vinyl releases by Xiu Xiu, Lucky Dragons, The Use with Rachelm Mason, Philippe Petit and more. ‘Human Giving’ can now be ordered in physical format from Aagoo Records’ websiteand digitally via Darto’s Bandcamp.
DARTO ‘HUMAN GIVING’ TRACK LIST
2. I Am
4. Fell III
6. No Self
7: Human Becoming
8. Character Study
9. Guiding Light
11. Within Without
12. American Storyteller
WAND/ DARTO 7″ TRACK LIST
1. Follow Up
September 8 Seattle – Black Lodge (Record Release with Big Bite, Casual Hex)
September 9 Seattle – Live on KEXP 90.3 at 6:30pm
All shows with Wand, except *
September 21* San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside
September 22* Oakland, CA – 1234GO
September 23 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
September 24 San Diego, CA – Casbah
September 25 Las Vegas, NV – Bunkhouse
September 27 Denver, CO – Lost Lake
September 28* Milwaukee, WI – Ground Zero
September 29 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
September 30 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
October 01 Michigan City, IN – Tommy’s Place
October 03* Pittsburgh – TBA
October 04 Boston, MA – Sonia
October 05 * New York, NY – Secret Project Robot
October 06 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
October 07 Phildealphia, PA – Everybody Hits
October 08 Washington, DC – DC9
October 09 * Baltimore, MD – New America
October 10 Raleigh, NC – King’s
October 11 Atlanta, GA – 529
October 12 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
October 13 Austin, TX – Barracuda
October 14 Dallas, TX – Dada
October 15 Norman, OK – Opolis
October 17* Phoenix, AZ – LBX
October 18 Salt Lake City – Metro Music Hall
October 19 Boise, ID – Neurolux
October 20 Spokane, WA – The Bubble
October 21* Olympia, WA – Le Voyeur
October 22 Seattle, WA – Vera Project