Posts Tagged ‘Ought’

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Ought are a post punk band based in Montreal Canada on Constellation/Merge Records which is both the most obvious and most misleading thing you can say about them. For one, they’re not actually Montreal natives, or even Canadians their collective passports list birthplaces as far-flung as New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and Australia. Their tetchy, talkative brand of art-punk makes them anomalies .

Ought formed back in 2011 when its members began living together in a communal band practice space and recorded their earliest material. Ought came together at McGill University in 2012,

Their debut EP, “New Calm“, was released in 2012. After signing with Constellation Records, they released a full-length, “More than Any Other Day”, in 2014. The album achieved critical acclaim, including a Best New Music accolade. 

It was noted in numerous year-end lists for 2014 including Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Loud and Quiet and may others.

In October 2014, the band released “Once More with Feeling”, an EP featuring B-sides from “More Than Any Other Day” and re-recordings of earlier songs. “Sun Coming Down“, the band’s second full-length album, was released in September 2015.

The band worked with French producer Nicholas Vernhes on their third studio album “Room Inside The World”, which was released February 16th, 2018, Lead singer Tim Darcy also released his debut solo album, “Saturday Night“, in 2017.

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More Than Any Other Day

Ought’s debut album, More Than Any Other Day, so endearing and electrifying. It’s an anxious, distressed record to be sure—brimming with feelings of disaffection and dislocation—but it presents itself as such simply to show you how that nervous energy can be put to more positive, constructive use.

More Than Any Other Day over its eight tracks, Ought strive to recapture and inspire that same sense of anarchic abandon they witnessed on the streets of Montreal in 2012. To that end, they couldn’t have chosen a more emblematic album cover not because, as some have pointed out, its image of hands clasped in a show of solidarity bears an uncanny resemblance to another debut album, but because, as the liner notes reveal, that photo was found discarded atop a dumpster. Accordingly, More Than Other Day is Ought’s effort to ensure that the basic tenets of passion and commitment don’t get tossed aside amid a culture of instant gratification and distraction, and remind their hashtag activist generation of how it really feels to feel.

And as singer/guitarist Tim Darcy convincingly illustrates throughout the record, the process of reconnecting with your inner iconoclast can be more potent than any drug. In the standout, Marquee Moon-lit ballad “Habit”, the addiction in question is to the act of expression itself, and the liberating/empowering sensation of getting something off your chest (even if the strung-out, string-screeched coda nods to a song about a different sort of habit. The almost-title-track “Today More Than Any Other Day” puts that transformative theory into even more explicit action: over a slowcore trickle, a dejected Darcy mutters the dispiriting line “we’re sinking deeper”—but then repeats those words over and over as the song accelerates until his ennui is reborn as exhilaration. And as the song hits its joyously frantic stride, even the prospect of going grocery shopping is elevated to a near-religious experience: “Today more than other day/ I am prepared/ To make the decision/ Between 2 per cent and whole milk,” Darcy shares, fully aware that the concept of choice in a late-capitalist economy is an inherently flawed one. But for him, even such small victories can provide one with the motivation to achieve much greater ones.

With his sardonic, conversational style and ticking-time-bomb outbursts, Darcy belongs to a lineage of brainiac-maniacs that span the likes of David Byrne and the Violent Femmes’ Gordan Gano to modern-day rant-rockers like Parquet Courts and Protomartyr. Likewise, the band’s sound encompasses myriad eras and permutations of proto- and post-punk: Velvet Underground drones (via the omnipersent hum of keyboardist Matt May), Feelies speed-jangle, daydreamy Sonic Youthian sprawl. And with the gritty grooves of “Pleasant Heart” and “Around Again”, bassist Ben Stidworthy and drummer Tim Keen display an amazingly deft, Fugazi-like facility with injecting a little funk into their punk without turning it into punk-funk.

But more so than any identifiable influence, More Than Any Other Day is ultimately defined by its unsettled, restless spirit; this is an album that treats panic attacks and adrenalized ecstasy as two sides of the same pounding heart, with its simultaneous transmissions of joy and fear, discipline and chaos, comedy and tragedy. As Darcy spells it out in the album’s thrillingly combustible closer, “Gemini”: “I retain the right to be disgusted by life/ I retain the right to be in love with everything in sight.” Though born of a highly politicized protest movement, Ought aren’t telling you what to do with your life. They just want to make sure you live it.

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Sun Coming Down

When Ought singer-guitarist Tim Darcy drops a fulsome “yes” in the middle of “Beautiful Blue Sky”—the spectacular centerpiece track of his band’s second album, “Sun Coming Down“—he’s sure to savour it. Amid a song whose chorus reads like a laundry list of 21st-century blights (“Warplane/ Condo/ New development”) and excruciating water-cooler chit chat (“How’s the family?/ How’s your health been?/ Fancy seeing you here!”)—Darcy declares, “I’m no longer afraid to die/ Because that is all that I have left/ Yessssss,” stretching out that last letter like pizza dough on a woodblock.

It’s an alarming admission, one that reads like the last will and testament of somebody who’s been so numbed by the dispiriting, clockwork demands of modern life that choosing death feels like the only empowering, self-actualizing move at their disposal. But Darcy invests his “yes” with an ecstatic sense of clarity. Though Darcy is a poet whose voluminous verbiage often overwhelms his melodies, it’s no insult to say that simple “yes” is the greatest lyric he’s written—because it so perfectly crystallizes his band’s essence and purpose.

Ought make indie rock that sounds like how urbanity makes you feel: nervous, antsy, sometimes hostile, yet intoxicatingly vibrant. And Darcy, likewise, gesticulates like a dutiful office drone who’s played by the rules his whole life but just can’t take it anymore. Ought’s 2014 debut “More Than Any Other Day” was an album of slowly unfurled epiphanies, stoking simmering tension into fiery, exultant release. Those sort of affirming moments are a little harder to come by on the more chaotic and caustic Sun Coming Down, but the album’s relentless drive and uncompromising attitude constitute their own special kind of thrill. If More Than Any Other Day was about the hard-fought, triumphant ascent, Sun Coming Down is the giddy, daredevil “wheeeeeey!” down the other side of the peak.

A lot has changed for Ought since the release of their first album—not the least of which is their lead singer’s surname. (Darcy was billed as Tim Beeler) More significantly, what was once a casual project among university roommates was promoted to workhorse touring act, and Sun Coming Down sounds like the sort of record that was hastily hashed out in between transatlantic jaunts. But that’s not to suggest the album sounds unfinished or is lacking focus—rather, the new album takes full advantage of Ought’s fully revved, road-tested engine and increased horsepower, in a strike-while-the-iron’s-hot move. Gone are the ambient styled ballads the strato stepped grooves that, on More Than Any Other Day, counterbalanced the band’s wiry freneticism. Here, Ought doubles-down on their oft-cited early-’80s Fall and late-’80s Sonic Youth reference points, handily destroying any inkling you might have had about this band following the likes of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or Vampire Weekend into big-tent-indie territory.

Sun Coming Down’s more aggressive attack pushes Darcy out of his usual agitated-everyman mode to deliver more cryptic narratives in a theatrical snarl that, at times, verges on Mark E. Smith karaoke. But while Ought’s influences may be obvious, you’re never really sure where they’re taking them: the fearsome rapid-fire rants, clanging guitar tangle and jackhammered drums of “The Combo” turn oddly celebratory in the wake of the song’s surprisingly cheery chorus (“Jubilation, darling!”); the bee-swarm buzz and frantic accelerations of “Celebration” are undercut by Darcy’s wonderfully fey, Fred Schneider-worthy exhortations (“Okay… let’s do it!”). Other songs are subjected to more abrupt change-ups: “On the Line” alternates between ponderous tone poem and garage-punk rave-up, before settling into a sublime third act that recalls the steady, galloping build-up of Patti Smiths “Gloria” while “Passionate Turn”—the only time here Ought attempt to channel the nocturnal grace of More Than Any Other Day’s knockout ballad “Habit” turns from swooning, stumbling serenade into a menacing, militaristic march for its final verse/chorus run.

Ought performing “Beautiful Blue Sky” live in the KEXP studio. Recorded October 15th, 2015.

Even the songs that remain locked into formation undergo subtle yet substantial mutations. The opening sprint of “Men for Miles” sees Darcy rewriting his verse melody with each pass and, as the band lean their full weight into the song’s motorik momentum, his unyieldingly abrasive guitar noise gives way to hypnotic, third eye-prying bliss. And the aforementioned “Beautiful Blue Sky” may initially sound like Ought’s answer to “Marquee Moon” but spiritually speaking, it’s their “Once In A Lifetime”song that paints a vivid picture of cubicle-bound 9-to-5 conformity before providing you with the sledgehammer to smash it. The transmission may be a little more distorted this time out, but, with Sun Coming Down, Ought’s underlying message is the same as it ever was: you have the power within you to change your lot in life. When you feel like there’s no way out, just say “yes.”

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Room Inside the World

Ought’s third album straightens out their sound, offering a more refined new wave palette underneath their singular and compelling lyrical style.

The best songs from Montreal post-punk band Ought contain the rapture of humble truths you might chance upon while spacing out on the subway, staring at the stars, or communing with a cup of coffee. “I am no longer afraid to die because that is all that I have left,” singer Tim Darcy sang on their 2015 album “Sun Coming Down”, which was a fun way of saying “I am alive.” Ought’s feverish, live-wire sound said that, too. The music was convincing because it felt scrappily human and Darcy could utter knotted word clusters about civilization or milk with a flair that somehow felt comforting. The band seemed to suggest, with a rare spark and radiant positivity, Mundanity can be a marvel. You will find the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything will be OK.

Ought’s third album, “Room Inside the World“, straightens out their sound. It offers a more refined and sophisticated new wave palette, redolent of the 1980s to an extreme, and it finds Darcy really singing—about isolation, tentative feelings, self-possession and lack thereof. Most of the record is cast in a newly muted and noirish hue with flourishes of vibraphone, sax, and clarinet. In its more compelling moments, Room Inside the World sounds like a young Scott Walker fronting the Gang Of Four a mix of grandeur and angular tension.

The album finds Ought making considerable changes, then, if not taking many risks. On “These 3 Things,” the singer preens in the glammy way you’d expect from a guy who legally changed his name to Darcy, while the droning closer, “Alice,” is named for cosmic jazz swamini Alice Coltrane. The best Room Inside the World songs still retain some post-punk fragmentation. One of the album’s most compelling moments occurs when “Disaffectation” methodically breaks apart after building itself into a deep trance, as Darcy sings of “some liberation” that “you can order […] online.” “Take Everything” fares better when it moves away from swirling psychedelia and towards lovely, threadbare balladeering, with images of dreaming and “the soul’s indecision.” “When the feel of a flower/Keeps you home for an hour/Throw it away,” Darcy sings, a curious and charming bit of verse.

Ought first ignited their sound with what they once called the “revolutionary spirit of radicalism and adventure” that they witnessed at the Quebec Student protests in 2012, and their songs pushed back with subtle comments on patriarchy, gentrification, and consent. Bits of Room Inside the World also have discernible political undertones or social critiques. The gentle “Brief Shield” flips gender scripts and comments on toxic masculinity. But where the title “Disgraced in America” seems like a bold gesture, any form of dissent therein is fairly oblique. At times, the album lends itself to superfluous jamming, and it can feel overwrought and opaque. Given Ought’s radical inklings, you wish they dared to make these lovely songs say or do something a little more righteous, to twist them into more adventurous shapes.

However, Ought achieve this spectacularly on the blue-eyed soul of “Desire” It towers over Room Inside the World like the album’s lighthouse. It begins wide-open, all wonder and shimmering drone, before Darcy unspools an exquisitely vulnerable Boss-style narrative about someone that left. A former lover is “the moon in a basket of weeds.” Two imagined characters drive through the night smiling. They escape a “petty little town.” It is a moment of romance and joy at a dead-end. “Desire was never gonna stay,” Darcy repeats like a mantra, scaling new reaches of passion and resolve with each turn, as if he were reckoning old feelings right as he recorded. A 70-piece choir eventually joins him and when they come in, the song’s architecture feels stitched to the sky.

“Desire” taps into a universal energy of persistence through life’s endless inquisition. It is at once the simplest and most ornate song Ought have done, but it feels in keeping with their essence. The power of Ought, and of many great artists, is an uncommon X-ray vision: to see things as they really are.

The band consists of Tim Darcy (vocals, guitar), Ben Stidworthy (bass), Matt May (keyboards) and Tim Keen (drums).


  • More than Any Other Day (2014)
  • Sun Coming Down  (2015)
  • Room Inside The World (2018)


  • New Calm (self-released, 2012)
  • Once More With Feeling EP (2014)
  • Four Desires (2018)

Clocking in at a mere 40 minutes, Ought’s third studio album Room Inside the World earnestly delivers with strategic, unexpected song development and passionate, yearning lyrics. This is not a one-note album.This record champions the Canadian outfit’s ability to embrace a multitude of sounds, bridging the gaps between several similar, yet very different genres. While some songs are naturally rock ’n’ roll, others are pure post-punk, digging into Joy Division-like vocals and progressive bass-driven blocks. Room Inside the World takes you for a winding, unpredictable ride, one that ends much earlier than you’d like, leaving you wanting more.

“Disgraced in America,” from this Montreal post-punk band Ought’s album Room Inside the World, is a song led by Tim Darcy’s melodramatic, at times Bowie-esque and other times Ian Curtis-esque, lead vocals, which are so painstaking, impactful and heart-wrenching, they would make an enthralling a cappella track. The track also includes robotic keyboards, jangly, melodic guitars, crying horns and chaotic, dense percussion worth getting lost in.

From the album Room Inside the World, out now on Merge Records / Royal Mountain.

Today we’re happy to announce Four Desires, a 4 track EP of our individual versions of “Desire”. 3 remixes and a cover. We had some time apart before touring started up this year, so each of us worked on a track at home.

You can get them today on special cassette thru Merge Records


Released August 21st, 2018


After three thrilling but taxing years spent fronting the Montreal quartet Ought, Tim Darcy needed a break. The group had accomplished a tremendous amount in a short period of time; their first album, 2014’s More Than Any Other Day, was remarkably assured, efficiently sketching out the blueprint for the band’s sound: fitful, snarling post-punk, topped with Darcy’s piercing lyrics, which explored the ways that daily choices are subtly influenced by people in power.

After a world tour in support of that record, they started the process all over again with 2015’s Sun Coming Down. But three years spent globetrotting takes a toll, no matter how romantic it seems from the outside. So for Room Inside the World, their third full-length and first for Merge Records, the band decided to prioritize deliberateness over the ruthless cycle of record, tour, repeat. The result is the band’s finest work to date, and a striking indication of where they may be heading.

“It’s amazing how much a little bit of downtime can do, as far as regrouping yourself,” Darcy says. The relief in his voice is audible; on previous albums, the recording process was a 100-yard dash: write the songs, record the songs, release the songs, hit the road. With Room Inside the World, the band wanted to flip the script, not just in terms of the writing and recording process, but also when it came to the album’s sonic palette.

On first listen, Room Inside the World is a sharp departure from Ought’s signature mix of post-punk precision and Talking Heads-y pop-funk. There’s a stripped-down glam gem (“Into the Sea”), an ode to ‘90s indie rock (“Disgraced in America”), and a ballad that manages to work a 70-person choir into the mix (“Desire”). Room Inside the World is the sound of a band confident enough to edge away from the wiry, worked-up songs that made them successful in the first place. On the whole, the album feels more relaxed and controlled.


“The thing we were able to get with More Than Any Other Day was a really cohesive statement that really matched what was happening in our live show,” says Darcy. “Before that, as a group of four musicians, we were interested in a lot of different tonalities and sensibilities that weren’t present on the recordings we were putting out. [With this record], it’s not like we’re disowning that stuff, we just had a desire to get back in touch with some of the other things we were doing.

Darcy’s lyrics suggest that, while 2017 was an alarming departure from the norm, that norm wasn’t all that great to begin with. The world is still a frightening and unfair place for most of the population, and 2017 simply helped crystallize what Darcy has been singing about since More Than Any Other Day.

“Part of what I appreciate about the band and the way it addresses politics is that it’s always been interwoven with more general poetic reflection and thoughts about life,” Darcy says. “That’s more true way to us than, ‘Oh, now we need to write the political song to maintain our image.’”

In short, Darcy views political songwriting and evolution more as a spectrum than a single flashpoint, and much of what has transpired over the course of the last 12 months bears that thinking out. “It’s good to be able to parse out what elements are fleeting versus things that have been ongoing, and to embrace the power of realizing that bad things are happening even when we thought our society was doing so well,” Darcy says. “The #MeToo moment is a product of our era. The light is just being shone.”

With Room Inside the World, Darcy and Ought solidify the ideas they’ve been working through since the band began, which can be loosely summarized as: “Things are bad, but evil isn’t new. Our job is to persist, regardless.” Room Inside the World may feel more streamlined, but defiance—red-hot and electric—still pulses beneath its sleek surfaces.

The Band:

Tim Darcy: voice and guitar
Tim Keen: drums, viola, vibraphone, and synth
Matt May: keys, guitar, and synth
Ben Stidworthy: bass

Nicolas Vernhes: guitar, keys, and noise box
James Goddard: saxophone
Eamon Quinn: clarinet
Choir Choir Choir: additional vocals on “Desire”

Released February 16th, 2018

In summer of 2016, we finished up a North American tour and then headed back to Montreal to start work on our third record. We spent about 4 months writing and recording what would become Room Inside the World. The process in Montreal was the most in-depth for us to date. More Than Any Other Day was tracked in 3 days. Sun Coming Down we wrote in something like 30 practices, and then recorded and mixed over a spotty 2-week period. With Room Inside the Worldwe had a full month in the studio to record and mix and yet we wasted no time. We worked every day and did 2 rounds of demos on our own before we went down to NYC.

We finished at the end of the year and then took some time off to work on other projects while we sorted out changing labels and the like. In April I recorded Choir! Choir! Choir! in Toronto for “Desire”, the last piece of tracking. The record was done. In August 2017 we got together for our first tours of the year. We did some festivals, a tour with Waxahatchee, and now we’re here, getting ready for a release party in Montreal.

So it’s been a minute, since we’ve released new music at least, and we couldn’t be happier to finally have this thing out there.  It’s an honest statement of where we’re at now and we’re thrilled and honored at the response so far.  We’re really looking forward to seeing you at shows over the rest of the year.

As a final note, we’d like to take this moment as a group of mostly Americans to advocate for increased gun control and medicare for all. These are very achievable things that we should all keep renewing our faith in. Let’s see that happen in our lifetimes.

And as always, please support your local record shop wherever possible. There’s a lot of love in this record, we hope that comes across.

Best, Tim Darcy + Ought

We did our best mechanic impression and starred in a vid for “Desire” made by the great Heather Rappard. Check it out below! .

Ought the great Montreal post-punk outfit returned with their third album, “Room Inside The World”. It’s a dense, exciting new collection of songs, one that rewards spending some time with it and parsing all the different avenues the band ventures down across its nine songs. Of course, there were also tracks that didn’t require too much patience, compositions that immediately revealed themselves to be something special. One of those was “Desire,” a song that also acts as a highlight and centerpiece once heard in the context of Room Inside The World as a whole.

The video for “Desire.” The clip begins simply, a nicely filmed performance from the band interspersed with a narrative that follows a guy who affably but somewhat shyly goes about his daily routine. We see him go to work, meet a friend at a bar, and hit it off with a waitress at a coffee shop. But he really comes into his own when he dresses up in drag and winds up fronting Ought during the climactic build of “Desire.”

It’s a video that plays with the song’s central themes as well as gender. Here’s what director Heather Rappard had to say about the concept:

“Desire” as a song has a real triumphant quality and masculine energy; I wanted to take this and subvert it and create a video that focused more on internal desire. Something that was important to me was that the video feel cathartic and positive; I’ve seen a lot of videos that take on ideas around gender that have characters being assaulted, or just exoticized. I wanted this character to have a full life but be most empowered, happiest, and at peace with himself when he’s on stage at the end.

Room Inside the World is Ought’s third album and their first for Merge Records growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.

The band are in Austin this week for SXSW, performing on some great showcases before heading back out on our headline tour.

Today we’re sharing the third single from our third record. We just had a nice meal together on this cold night and are glad you are all finally able to hear it. The song is called “Desire” and it’s one of our favorites. It includes a performance by impromptu mass choir Choir! Choir! Choir! that was incredible to witness. Check it out on your preferred music service now. Room Inside the World is out in 10 days.  Thanks,
Tim Darcy
(in my kitchen with the rest of Ought)

After the recent track “Disgraced In America”, the most recent single from Ought’s soon to be released new album Room Inside The World (out via Merge Records on the 16th).

Now we can share the album’s side one closer, Desire, with you. Marvellously described by bassist Ben Stidworthy as “Sade meets Bruce Springsteen,” the song employs a 70-piece vocal choir and uncovers a romantic side of the band seen only in glimpses before.


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Ought. is not only a brilliant band they have released a new track but also a brilliant new video for ‘Disgraced in America’. The song, ‘Disgraced In America’ matches Ought’s recent output . A unique voice and a thick rhythm add to the band’s new sound. It’s a sound which will come in to full focus on the new album Room Inside The World, which is out on Merge Records on February 16th. The sound is an evolution for the Montreal band who are now using their anger to fuel their investigation in to this world. There’s a sense the band are paying closer attention than ever and choosing the optimum time to unleash their fury.

The video is also incredibly impressive, it shows a band keen on their artistic output rather than super-stardom: shot in 15-second increments over the course of three weeks it is something very special. “Breaking a song down into its tiniest parts actually leaves lots of room to improvise and really consider how to describe it visually,”

Ought’s Tim Darcy had this to say about the video; “The term ‘microcosm’ came to mind when I read Heather Rappard’s accompanying description for ‘Disgraced in America’. The way they worked on the song, second by second, opened up deeper layers than we’re used to. Anyone who’s tried to memorise a lyric or a melody will know how unseen worlds can open up when you dig in like that. Songs can last for days, years, fucking centuries, and then you pull your head out of the brook and maybe 15 seconds have passed.

“I wanted to create a video that morphed and visually changed in the same ways the song does: in the beginning, working with the bright guitar sound and the illustrative qualities of the lyrics, then moving into the abstract at the bridge’s breakdown, to the ending where it completely changes, becoming much noisier and darker with the percussion, spacey synths, and ringing guitar hits.”

We are completely honoured and rocked by Heather and Mike’s work, and hope it can take you a few layers deeper, where the clock ticks a bit slower and the drum fills are as big as billboards. Definition of microcosm on dic-tion-ary-dot-com? “A little world.”

Take a look below at Ought’s ‘Disgraced in America’,

On Room Inside the WorldOught’s third album and their first for Merge Records—growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.

Tim Darcy had a great solo album in 2017. It’s nice to see him back so soon in 2018 with a new LP by the whole band. The follow-up 2015’s solid Sun Coming Down was recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective). Along with the usual instruments, vibraphone, drum machines, a 70-piece choir, and “justly intonated synthesizers” were employed in the studio, as the Canadian post-punks explored themes of “identity, connection, survival in a precarious world.”

Our first taste of Room comes with lead single “These 3 Things” and its corresponding music video, which features mannequins and a host of random objects like leaf blowers and a dirt bike. Directors Jonny Look (Grizzly Bear, Cloud Nothings) and Scottie Cameron talked about the visual in a statement:

“Life can be problematic. Everything takes time and energy. We challenged ourselves to create devices of great inconvenience using three items. When initially testing the convenience machines without the human variable, we discovered luxury and success. However, it was sterile. The beauty only came with the unpredictable moments brought by the human element. Being human is better than looking for an easy way out.”

releases February 16th, 2018


Tim Darcy: voice and guitar
Tim Keen: drums, viola, vibraphone, and synth
Matt May: keys, guitar, and synth
Ben Stidworthy: bass

Nicolas Vernhes: guitar, keys, and noise box
James Goddard: saxophone
Eamon Quinn: clarinet
Choir Choir Choir: additional vocals on “Desire”

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“If post-punk speaks the language of disaffection, then don’t call Ought a post-punk band. It’s easy to listen to Tim Darcy’s wry vocal inflection and find cynicism in it, but Ought’s music swallows angst and spits it back out in the form of life-affirming songs. They seek to inspire with “Sun Coming Down” its an impulsive, interpretive ode to existence that, on particularly bad days, reminds me of all that I have left under this big, beautiful, blue sky

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Ought Known the value of a song’s lyrics, David Byrne once said, “In a certain way, it’s the sound of the words—the inflection and the way it’s sung and the way it fits the melody and the way the syllables are on the tongue—that has as much of the meaning as the actual, literal words.” It seems Ought’s Tim Darcy takes a cue from this emphasis on lyrical delivery over lyrical content in the Montreal-based, post-punk band’s newest single “Men for Miles”. It’s the second track off their sophomore LP Sun Coming Down on Constellation Records

As you listen to the song’s frantic energy unfurl, you get a sense that Darcy is someone who lives in his own head most of the time. He proposes anarchy (“bringing this whole fucker down”) only to follow it up with clinical logic and rationality (“It came with instructions / It’s neither here nor there”). Over a heaping layer of rhythmic guitars and drums, he asks with a combination of paranoia and distrust, “What did you see? / What did I see?” In “Men For Miles”, the mental cage breaks open and unleashes an anxiety-ridden stream of consciousness that makes more sense and feels more potent in listening to the idiosyncratic tone in  voice than it ever would on paper.