Posts Tagged ‘Tim Darcy’


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’,

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.


The music that Montreal singer-songwriter Tim Darcy makes with his band Ought wears its stresses as a medal of honor, the backbone of a certain internal tension indebted to post-punk and emo. That Darcy’s debut solo album, Saturday Night, doesn’t leave out that tension is almost a given; he’s a young man with a lot to say. But the record, which was tracked over nights and weekends during the making of Ought’s second album, Sun Coming Down, builds its arc of tension over the entire song cycle — a jaunty, fiery rumble-seat ride throughout the America that Darcy once called home.

Saturday Night’s opening track, “Tall Glass Of Water,” reflects the ways in which Darcy bends the form to his will. He kicks off with some incendiary open chords and a galloping rhythm worthy of The Strokes before slowing it down to focus on renewal and understanding his place in the world: “If at the end of the river, there is more river, would you dare to swim again?” Before he can catch a breath, he’s back with his response: “Surely I will stay, and I am not afraid / I went under once, I’ll go under once again.” Now reduced to an unadorned chorale, Darcy lays plain his history and his doubts, exploring the creative balance between strength and tenderness and how best to wield these two often-conflicting energies.

The video for “Tall Glass Of Water” places those forces into a literal perspective, harboring both the angst and the swelling pride that bookend the track. In the opening moments, we see Darcy walking away from himself. As the riff breaks and the song moves into its slightly more solemn second half, he’s still in motion, walking into a room filled with people and objects dressed in the red turtleneck and blue blazer he wears throughout the clip. As some of these characters mimic his actions while others do their own thing, Darcy presents the philosophy that he is free not only to pursue various directions, but to make peace with them all.

One of our picks for 2017’s best new artist so far is Tim Darcy who is the front person in the band Ought. Here Tim Darcy channels a bit of The Velvet Underground adding some surprising turns on his debut full-length, Saturday Nightreleased Feb. 17th.

thanks to NPRmusic

Image of Dutch Uncles - Big Balloon

Manchester’s idiosyncratic art-popologists Dutch Uncles return with “Big Balloon”, their new studio album, on 17th February 2017 on Memphis Industries.

Big Balloon is the latest chapter in Dutch Uncles’ brilliantly witty, hip-swiveling, left-field adventures. Taking musical inspiration from Kate Bush’s The Red Shoes, Low-era David Bowie, some slightly-less fashionable records belonging to their Dads and East European techno, it’s the fifth Dutch Uncles studio album and the follow-up to 2015’s acclaimed “O Shudder”.
Functioning as ten distinct pieces, each tackling a different topic, including austerity cuts, therapy, fried chicken, paranoia and coming to terms with loneliness, Big Balloon is Dutch Uncles’ finest album to date, taking listeners on an exhilarating cerebral journey.

Image of Ryan Adams - Prisoner

Mixing the heartfelt angst of a singer/songwriter with the brashness of a garage rocker, Ryan Adams is at once one of the few artists to emerge from the alt-country scene to achieve mainstream commercial success and the one who most strongly refused to be defined by the genre, leaping from one spot to another stylistically while following his increasingly prolific muse.
On new album “Prisoner”, Ryan has said: “I was reflecting on the different states of desire and what it means to be a prisoner of your own desire… I felt like I had been robbed of… the most valuable thing in a person’s life…Time.”

The twelve tracks that make up Prisoner came to Adams over a prolific period stretching back as far as the week his 2014 self-titled album entered the U.S. album chart at a career high of #4. During that run, Adams toured the world, recorded and released both his Live at Carnegie Hall collection and full-album cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989,

Image of Tim Darcy - Saturday Night

‘Saturday Night’, the first proper solo album from Tim Darcy (Ought), comes from one of those crossroads-type moments in life where one has to walk to the edge before knowing which way to proceed. Each track is woven to the next in a winding, complex journey through a charged, continuous present. There are love / love lost songs like the standout, almost-New Wave ‘Still Waking Up’ in which a Smiths-esque melody builds upon an underbrush that recalls 60s AM pop and country.

Darcy’s unmistakable, commanding voice and lyrical phrasing are, as they are in Ought, an instrument here – vital to the entire affair. There’s a line in ‘Tall Glass Of Water’, the album’s Velvet Underground-nodding opening track, where Darcy asks himself a rhetorical question: “if at the end of the river, there is more river, would you dare to swim again?” He barely pauses before the answer: “Yes, surely I will stay, and I am not afraid. I went under once, I’ll go under once again.” That river shows up again and again in the lyrics of ‘Saturday Night’. It’s about how wonderful it can be to feel in touch with that inner current. It’s about how good it feels to make art and how terrifying; how you don’t always get to choose whether you’re swimming or drowning as we grow and move through life, just that you’re going to keep diving in.

Image of The Underground Youth - What Kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This?

What Kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This? (Released 15/02/17) is the eighth LP from Berlin-via-Manchester based psych/post-punk outfit The Underground Youth, and it’s arguably their most accomplished yet. Perhaps what is most exceptional about The Underground Youth is their ability to create a brooding melting pot of Berlin chillwave, post-punk, folk, goth and shoegaze but delivered with a dreamy pop sensibility. With a huge back-catalogue that’s collectively clocked up several million listens from a dedicated global following, Craig Dyer and co have acquired a cult-like status and have consistently been at the forefront of neo-psychedelia since their inception. The band will be heading out on an extensive 25-date EU tour in support of the new LP

Image of Strand Of Oaks - Hard Love

Hard Love, Tim Showalter’s latest release as Strand of Oaks, is a record that explores the balancing act between overindulgence and accountability. Recounting Showalter’s decadent tour experiences, his struggling marriage, and the near death of his younger brother, Hard Love emanates an unabashed, raw, and manic energy that embodies both the songs and the songwriter behind them. “For me, there are always two forces at work: the side that’s constantly on the hunt for the perfect song, and the side that’s naked in the desert screaming at the moon. It’s about finding a place where neither side is compromised, only elevated.”

During some much-needed downtime following the release of his previous album, HEAL, Showalter began writing Hard Love and found himself in a now familiar pattern of tour exhaustion, chemically-induced flashbacks, and ongoing domestic turmoil. Drawing from his love of Creation Records, Trojan dub compilations, and Jane’s Addiction, and informed by a particularly wild time at Australia’s Boogie Festival, he sought to create a record that would merge all of these influences while evoking something new and visceral. Showalter’s first attempt at recording the album led to an unsatisfying result—a fully recorded version of Hard Love that didn’t fully achieve the ambitious sounds he heard in his head. He realized that his vision for the album demanded collaboration, and enlisted producer Nicolas Vernhes, who helped push him into making the most fearless album of his career.

tim darcy saturday night album Ought frontman Tim Darcy announces debut solo album, shares Tall Glass of Water    listen

Montreal outfit Ought gave us one of 2015’s best songs in Sun Coming Down track “Beautiful Blue Sky”. Now, frontman Tim Darcy is looking to find some success of his own on his upcoming debut solo album, Saturday Night.

Due out February 17th via Jagjaguwar Records, the 10-track effort sees Darcy swapping out some of the angular riffs of Ought’s catalog for indie rock that’s tinged with hints of Ryan Adams-esque Americana and folk. An endeavor all his own, the LP is an unsurprisingly intimate and introspective one, as a press release describes:

“A personal meditation reveals itself across these songs as you feel a poetic, thoughtful person attempting to reconcile a schism, one that grows more expansive as Saturday Night flows along. It is a journey, but it’s a really fun, gratifying one; like a poem where you’re not supposed to know exactly how to feel at that last line and you’re left just bursting with a wonderful emptiness.”

“Still Waking Up” from the upcoming album ‘Saturday Night’ out February 17th, 2017 on Jagjaguwar Records

Tim Darcy, guitarist/vocalist from the Montreal-based rock band Ought, has announced a forthcoming debut solo album, “Saturday Night”. Working without the rest of the group shouldn’t pose a problem for Darcy, as he’s got plenty of backup in the form of a turtleneck- and blazer-wearing mob of clones, all of whom star in the video he’s shared for the first single, “Tall Glass of Water.”

At the beginning of the video, we’re introduced to two Darcys walking in opposite directions. We follow one into a room with a dozen more Darcys, now played by different actors who copy the original’s movements or engage in symbolic puppet play. The given voice in the lyrics: “Is it rain or is it toxic fire? Is it love or is it desire?” and “If you chance it all in one, would you chance it all again?”

Saturday Night will be out Feb. 17th via Jagjaguwar Records.

“Tall Glass of Water” from the upcoming album ‘Saturday Night’ out February 17th, 2017 on Jagjaguwar Records