The Key Studio Sessions: Dark Blue

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While setting up for his Key Studio Session, John Sharkey III of Dark Blue remarked that he’d just revisited some of his old Psychedelic Furs records. “People keep comparing my voice to Richard Butler, so I figured I should listen,” he said. “Man. They wrote some fantastic songs.” While it might be a stretch to call Dark Blue a direct descendent of the Furs – or any post punk band specific, despite what your Joy Division meter might be telling you – one commonality they share is placing mood and ambiance at an equal level of importance as tight songwriting.

On the subject of ambiance: the way they harness the power trio format to explore brooding, nervy sonic spaces; the rattling screams Sharkey coaxes out his guitar strings at the conclusion of each song; the persistent thump of Mike Sneeringer’s drums, the enveloping low-end of Andrew Nelson’s bass. On the subject of songwriting: Sharkey has tremendous focus and approaches his subjects with intense detail, whether it’s changes in a gentrifying neighborhood (“Here On My Street”) or the motivations behind tying one on (“Just Another Night With the Boys”).

Read more about Sharkey’s Australia-to-Philly journey to write these songs in Brian Wilensky’s interview here, and catch the band in its last show of 2014 next Friday, November 28th at Kung Fu Necktie for the Cock Sparrer afterparty show; tickets and information can be found here.

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