Review Summary: While it’s from nowhere, it’s good news.
Darkstar, not to be confused with a prog rock side project, had formed only about a half a decade ago. While they were not well known, they still managed to release a few singles, still remaining relatively subtle, however…until now. Upon releasing psychedelic pop album, News from Nowhere, they’re finally starting to show their true colors.
Darkstar is redefining what psychedelic rock and pop are really about. Need evidence? They have a lot of influences to back them up. The reminiscent, ambient noises had to have influenced by Brian Eno, while the music structure is Radiohead, Animal Collective, and Massive Attack inspired. Of all these groups, Radiohead seems to have the most prominent influence on this album, containing a lot of similar distortions and sounds between this and the combo of OK Computer and Kid A. This is a nice advantage to have as an electronic indie/alt group today.
Despite all the obvious similarities with prominent groups, Darkstar does have some distinguishable differences in their music. Much sounds newer, more electronic, almost as if psychedelic pop has been warped. News From Nowhere also sounds a little more progressive than a few of the regular alt and indie groups. However, this is an experimental direction. So, who knows if Darkstar will keep this nice element of the album going in the near future.
If anything, it sounds as if the vocalist has listening to Thom Yorke sing for Radiohead, sort of mimicking him. However, he seems to have a different sounding vocal tone, driving the music direction in a less indulgent direction. That appears to be opposite with the other band members. As you listen to particular parts of Bed Music-North View, it sounds like a newer, more modernized version of King Crimson’s Moonchild, once again entering a unique dream scape. What’s better about this is that the music is only experimental at the time and that there are no noticeable signs of overindulgence in News From Nowhere.
These are the colors that Darkstar have shown. They have come through with quite a few brilliant feats, and really show their influences very cleverly. They also have created a vivid mix of new age, ambient, and alternative rock sounds that work very well in this album. In addition, they’ve redefined and refined psychedelic pop to the flavor of the 21st century, and it still sounds great. While News From Nowhere came out of the blue, it’s only a good sign of progress to come and good news.