Album review: Darker My Love – ‘Alive As You Are’ (Dangerbird)

Perfectly nostalgic, weed-fugged countrified psych

There’s a profound joy that comes with discovering a band who obviously grew up listening to the same semi-obscure records that you did. If we close our eyes hard enough, we can almost visualise the members of [a]Darker My Love[/a] blowing lungfuls of cheap hash out of our old bedroom window while heads bob in unison to the strains of [a]The Grateful Dead[/a]’s [b]‘American Beauty’[/b]. And by God, does it make us giddy. Inspired by the death of frontman Tim Presley’s father, ‘Alive As You Are’ is a minor masterpiece, a record whose points of reference – the aforementioned Dead, Moby Grape, [a]Teenage Fanclub[/a] – are impeccable, but never merely parroted back at you. From the countrified guitar licks and spectral three-part harmonies of opener [b]‘Backseat’[/b], through the stoned shoegaze of [b]‘Split Minute’[/b] and the dream-pop of [b]‘June Bloom’[/b], this is an album to be held close to your heart and revered as psych-pop scripture.

[b]Barry Nicolson[/b]

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