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The Dig – Midnight Flowers

on June 15, 2012, 7:58am
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It would be easy (and perhaps lazy) for me to simply say that The Dig sound like a darker cousin of Vampire Weekend, so I’ll try a little harder: The Dig sound like a darker cousin to Vampire Weekend and The Antlers. David Baldwin’s vocals on Midnight Flowers call to mind Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, and the music wades through tracks much like it does on The Antlers’ Burst Apart. This doesn’t make The Dig a band of imitators, just a part of the modern New York-based indie scene. Polo shirts and flannels adorn these mostly well-kempt young gentlemen, yes, but they’re accompanied by a menagerie of melody and vocals that ebb and flow their way through the speakers.

The Dig paints pictures of the music it presents very well. “Black Water” sounds like a Friday night bar outing, set at sticky, alcohol-drenched tables, thanks to a bass line that discovers low notes men fear to tread. “Hole In My Heart” is the complete opposite, a power-pop track transported from 1983 to the modern era, sporting verses matched only by the choruses that prompt dance-like-you-mean-it moments. It’s this variety– and knowing when to play with the energy– that makes the album twist and turn as a good album should.

Baldwin’s lyrics are effective, too. The soft bounce of “I Already Forgot Everything You Said” brings Baldwin’s words to the forefront, with a dig (pun absolutely intended) towards an ex: “Well you left with him but he changed his mind/ You left everything that you love behind/ Now I would take you back but the feelings dead/ And I already forgot everything you said.” It’s bitter and jaded, but who hasn’t been (or hoped to be) there?

“Glass Horse” is Midnight Flowers’ most gorgeous moment. The guitars drop out halfway through to the sound of an organ before returning to take the track home with subtle strumming, background harmonies, and simple percussion courtesy of drummer Mark Demiglio. With that track (the album’s finale), The Dig’s Midnight Flowers proves that gardening at night in New York can be successful after all.

Essential Tracks: “I Already Forgot Everything You Said”, “Hole In My Heart”, and “Glass Horse”

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