In New York City’s Grand Central Station, right outside the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, the underpass possesses a peculiar charm. At this particular location, four archways of resplendent Guastavino tile provide a unique listening opportunity, especially after midnight, when foot traffic is at its lowest. Stand at one corner of the underpass, and have someone in your traveling party stand at the opposite corner, which is about thirty feet or so away from you. Step so that your face is within inches of the walls and begin whispering. Whisper something, anything, and sit in silence for a few moments. If your compatriot plays along, you’ll hear him/her reply clear as day, as if he/she is standing right next to you.
The so-called whispering gallery (Grand Central Station isn’t unique to having one; it’s just my personal favorite since I don’t foresee me dropping in on St. Paul’s Cathedral in London anytime soon, and the effect at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry isn’t as impressive) is a delightful phenomenon. Hearing the whispers seemingly shoot off the walls and traverse the concave ceiling is a haunting, alluring effect, which brings us to our tracks of the day.
We last heard from Digital Daggers in 2010 with their debut EP, Human Emotion. It was an auspicious debut, with soothing, gorgeous instrumentation complemented by mollifying, radiant vocal melodies. Throughout the new record, entitled The Devil Within, multi-layered vocals and effect-laden guitars filter in and out of each channel, permeating the feeling of being surrounded by swirling guitars, effulgent piano, sweeping electronics, and soaring vocals; essentially, the listener is encapsulated within musical whispering walls, a feeling not unlike the whispering galleries found in London or New York City.
The Los Angeles-based duo, Space and Andrea Wasse, originally met when their mutual publishing company brought them in to write songs for other artists. While collaborating, the two realized that the songs they were writing could only be translated in a way that they understood, and combined with how much they missed performing live, started this new venture. “We were writing all these songs… and we both felt like we were working really hard at something that wasn’t coming to fruition,” Space explained.
In parallel, Wasse continued, “These were our songs to play, so now we can actually make sure that these songs get out there and we have a say on how they’re delivered to the world . . . . a lot of these songs are about feeling lost and lonely and just trying to figure things out. When I moved from London [Ontario, Canada] to [Los Angeles], it was very much a culture shock and I was lost for a long time. I think a lot of our lyrics reflect that.”
Since 2010, Space and Wasse’s original recordings have found their way in various TV spots: “Where the Lonely Ones Roam,” the album’s lead single, was featured in Pretty Little Liars, and it was the most searched-for TV/film song the week it aired; “Surrender” was in the film The Roommate and soap opera One Life to Live; the more aggressive “No Easy Way” found its way on Nikita, and the ethereal “Envy” was featured in indie film The Melancholy Fantastic.
Meanwhile, their ominous cover of “New York, New York” found a place in TV drama CSI: New York and was highlighted in the trailer for video game Crysis 2; also, their haunting version of Tears For Fears’ “Head Over Heels” was featured in The Vampire Diaries.
To celebrate the release of the pair’s debut LP, The Devil Within, set to be released next Tuesday, July 3rd, Sputnikmusic is streaming five songs in advance: “The Devil Within”, “Where the Lonely Ones Roam”, “Bad Intentions”, “Still Here”, and “Can’t Sleep Can’t Breathe”.
The Devil Within (3:49)
Where the Lonely Ones Roam (4:33)
Bad Intentions (3:50)
Still Here (4:26)
Can’t Sleep Can’t Breathe (3:55)
The Devil Within’s tracklisting:
1. The Devil Within
2. State of Seduction
3. Can’t Sleep Can’t Breathe
4. Still Here
5. Where the Lonely Ones Roam
6. Bad Intentions
7. Fear the Fever
8. Come Crashing
9. Set You Straight
10. Feel Like Falling
Pre-order/purchase will be available on iTunes and is currently available on Amazon [[here]].