When talents collide, masterpieces are mad, and so is the case with Wand and Darto. Two bands, one vision. And the result is ‘Hush’, a surrealistically dreamy pop track with a combination of subtle melodies and smooth transitions that please the ears and caress the soul. This is a beautiful song.

'Hush' Cover.
‘Hush’ Cover.

About ‘Hush’
Aagoo Records has released the stream for the track ‘Hush’, jointly composed and performed by WAND and Darto. This is lifted from their new joint 7″ vinyl release. Cory Hanson of WAND describes the process:

“We smashed together in Los Angeles and wrote these two songs; repurposed lyrics we wrote in the studio together. A lot of people got to sing who had never sung on a record before. All in all, this was a successful collaboration I think. The spirit of both bands made it onto the tape together, intact. We ate breakfast burritos the next morning, then Darto flew away. I went to go to the beach but our car died in Topanga Canyon”.

Aagoo recently released two packages of goodness simultaneously: ‘Human Giving’ is the latest full-length album from Seattle-based four-piece Darto. The second is the ‘Follow Up / Hush’ 7” featuring Darto and WAND, who wrote and performed these tracks together.

A few weeks back, Darto also released the new creepy video for ‘No-Self’ from the ‘Human Giving’ album. This was preceded by the single ‘I Am’, which The Big Takeover Magazine calls “a catchy sultry melancholic downtempo synth-infused psych-trip combining the best of Cate Le Bon, The Velvet Underground, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Black Ryder”.

The album’s mood is immediately clear from the first note of ‘GDLS’, enveloping the space around the listener. By the time ‘I Am’ enters, the sound and feeling transitions from lush and inviting, too focused and intentional with the keyboards and strings propelling the movement. The lyrics and accompanying melodies float along seamlessly like being lulled into a dream.

“Despite all of its catchy qualities, ‘Human Giving’ is a difficult album to pin down. The lyrical phrasing and melodies have been stuck in my head for months,” says Alec Dartley of Aagoo Records. “It takes me to a place filled with light, despite the psych realms the band takes us”.

As the record progresses, splashes of Americana seem to emerge, painting subtle pictures of the American West, or a vast expanse that we would associate it with. It’s a momentary visit to those places as Darto keeps moving, exploring new worlds. The album closes in a cinematic soft way, where the constant is an emotional hook that dives into the human condition. This is an open story, suggestive but with room for the listener to fill in the blanks.

Darto is Gordon De Los Santos, Gregory Flores, Candace Harter, Nicholas Merz. ‘Human Giving’ was recorded by Darto between September 2015 and January 2016 in a cabin in Cle Elum, WA and their home in Seattle. The ‘Follow Up / Hush’ 7″ was written, performed and recorded by Darto and Wand at Comp-ny in Burbank, CA in April 2017. It was engineered and recorded by Be Hussey. Both releases were mixed by Cory Hanson at Comp-ny and mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering in Ventura, CA.

Aagoo Records is home to vinyl releases by Xiu Xiu, Lucky Dragons, The Use with Rachel Mason, Philippe Petit and more. ‘Human Giving’ can now be ordered in physical format from Aagoo Records’ website and digitally via Darto’s Bandcamp.

““I Am” is a catchy sultry melancholic downtempo synth-infused psych-trip combining the best of Cate Le Bon, The Velvet Underground, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Black Ryder. The keyboards and strings seemingly propel the movement and the lyrics with instrumentation seem to induce a trance-like feeling”
– The Big Takeover Magazine

“Experimental rock outfit Darto are into something. That something is called dichotomy. Mixing together adventurousness with playfulness, they have crafted a sound that is both challenging and accessible. This can be heard on recent track ‘No Self’. With repetitive and hypnotic vocals, jagged guitar stabs, and yet a lightness that is endearing, the track pushes the boundaries but at no time does the track lose sight of what is most important. Namely, that’s being memorable”
– Overblown Magazine