Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jam of the day: "Dances Fantastic"

Artist: Neva Dinova
Album: Neva Dinova
Song: "Dances Fantastic"
Released: September 17, 2002
Label: crank!

I feel like Neva Dinova has always been the lesser-known and underappreciated little brother of Saddle Creek labelmate Bright Eyes. Yes, they haven't been around for as long and they don't have as big of a profile, but they've put out 3 solid records in the last 8 years, plus a split EP with Bright Eyes where they, quite frankly, outshone Conor Oberst with their songwriting and contributions. But that's just my opinion, I guess: I do want them to get more attention and recognition for their musical output, but it's pointless to complain without pointing to evidence. So here it is. This song, "Dances Fantastic", is from their epnoymous debut, released back in 2k2. The whole album is a pretty intriguing and complex mix of scuzzy guitar rock and mellow guitar rock and ... well, it has a lot of different guitar and vocal stylings, I'll say that. I'm failing on the description front, here, so I'll just skip ahead to the song I want to feature:

This song is fucking epic, and you know it: a slow, echoey guitar/bass intro melding into plaintive lyrics and slow drums, building into a hypnotically rhythmic and melodic pattern, and finally exploding into a volcanic torrent of guitar, ultimately winding down into a devolving drum fill/guitar line and a defeated voice. It's amazing how much emotional power is packed into this roller-coaster-ride of a song. I have a friend who listened to no other song from this band except for this one, and used to play this one religiously, at that. As for me, I like a lot of Neva Dinova's songs, and all of their albums, as a whole, but this song is always a go-to. Enjoy!

And if you're looking for points of comparison as to why they deserve recognition as a band, just check out some other (different-sounding) songs, like "Ahh" and "Clouds" and "Did You Disappoint Your God?" and "Yellow Datsun" and "Supercomputer" and "Get Back" and ...

Neva Dinova on the web:

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