Darkswoon – Year One EP Review

Year One is an impressive debut EP from the burgeoning electronic duo out of Portland, Oregon, Darkswoon (Jana Cushman, Christian Terrett.) The album is dark, with expressive melodics– an introspective collection of songs that showcases the emotion of Cushman’s gritty voice. Upon listening, the influence of grunge is apparent, reflected in the instrumentation of Cushman’s electric guitar, and the sound is reminiscent of the punk aesthetic of many bands to come out of the Pacific Northwest in the last few decades. Beyond those familiarities are the well placed electronic elements that are woven into Darkswoon’s sound. The collage of layers work together to create a colorful sonic palette kissed by soaring vocalizations and distorted landscapes. Bloodstone Eyes and Phantom Limb are masterful works that give a wonderful taste of the rest of the album.

Darkswoon Biography

Darkswoon began as a reversed harmonic feedback loop on a Boss RC 20. The project was originally reserved for bedroom sound experimentation incorporating electronic music with guitar, layering harmonies into GarageBand with a dented microphone, hot and ready to electrocute nearby lips. Originally, the nameless project was an attempt to reconnect to music, untouched by the opinions of others while also lyrically exploring time passed since moving across the country to the Pacific Northwest from Michigan. After moving to Portland, OR in 2005 to work on music, Jana Cushman found herself involved with several bands throughout the years (Minerva, Twin Rabbit, Lovely Mess). Darkswoon is her first solo project, the name born from a dream, a consistent theme and inspiration within the content of the music. After a year of writing and playing in her bedroom, Cushman welcomed friend Christian Terrett to aid in bringing Darkswoon to a performative level. Months later they began recording with John Mowatt of Underground Audio in November of 2014. This led to the release of Year One, the band’s debut EP this past February. In Year One, Darkswoon builds sonic landscapes from the foundation of loops and beats, layered with intricate effected guitar, harmonized looping vocals, and synths to create a transcendent texture of music. The intent of the record was to create an accurate portrayal of the band’s live performance instead of overproduction that often breathes life into the myth that there is no musicianship in electronic music. Darkswoon wanted to maintain some of the lofi quality of the original bedroom recordings while creating something more complete and clear. While Darkswoon conjures comparisons to others in music, the band has created their own unique signature, a familiarity without redundancy. The band plans to tour this summer and Cushman is already writing the next album.

Darkswoon Online

Bandcamp: https://darkswoon.bandcamp.com

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/darkswoon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darkswoon.pdx