Darkside - ‘Psychic’ + Golden Arrow
*Guest Pairing by Katie Chow*
Ingredients: 2 ounces whiskey, 1 ounce cherry liqueur, few dashes Fee Brothers aztec chocolate bitters
Mixing Instructions: Put all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with the single tear you shed when thinking about how unaccomplished you are compared to Nicolas Jaar, who is probably younger than you.
Notes: Nicolas Jaar likely impressed you back in 2011 with his debut album Space Is Only Noise, and he’ll win you over again with his latest project, Darkside. Bandmate Dave Harrington is pushing minimal electronica’s golden boy to new levels, and together they’ve made Psychic, one of 2013’s top triumphs. It’s a seductive cocoon of smoldering synths and louche guitar licks, cozy and unsettling all at once. These songs will slink into your skull and stay there, sounding a little different every time you hear them.
Album highlight “Paper Trails” is arrestingly intimate upon first listen, thanks in part to Jaar’s underrated verve as a vocalist, but still offers plenty to unpack. The duo’s said that Darkside is about making “body music,” and they’re ready to get physical. The beats and riffs are wrapped in primal insistence, made with no regard for ticking the dance or rock boxes. Psychic’s longest tracks “Golden Arrow” and “The Only Shrine I’ve Seen” guide the album’s nocturnal journey, pulsing with dark energy. The whole thing closes with “Metatron,” a softly glimmering comedown at the crack of dawn. Don’t listen to this record when the sun is out.
Make the drink with bourbon if you want it to go down easily, try it with rye for a deeper flavor. Like Psychic, it can be whatever you want it to be.