Musings about music.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Destry - It Goes On

In June of 2008 Michelle DaRosa announced her departure from Straylight Run to pursue a solo career. In late 2008, DaRosa began collaborating with Sam Means (The Format), Shaun Cooper (Straylight Run), and Nico Childrey and Tyler Odom (who played together in Cassino). Together they formed Destry and recently they released their first LP. At this time physical copies are only available from the band directly via tumblr, the album is also available on Itunes.

I was never a big fan of Straylight Run, I didn’t even know that Michelle had left the band, I came across this album because it’s recently been streaming on in their full CD listening party. I didn’t expect much but was pleasantly surprised.

Lyrically the album is pretty solid, DaRosa has a beautiful voice, and the music is melodic and straightforward. The album was a little slow starting, I would have liked something stronger in the lead track, but the vocals are very easy on the ears and while things kind of blended together, it was enough to keep me listening.

I’m pretty keen on the change of pace with the bluesy ballad Trouble. The bass lines really stand out here, and DaRosa explores a lower range of vocals that work well for her. At many points while I was listening her voice reminded me of Jenny Lewis’s (Rilo Kiley) ballads. I enjoyed the lovely use of harmonizing on It Goes On, one of the stronger tracks. The album’s theme is heartbreak, there isn’t much inspiring here. This album is what Au Revoir Simone would probably sound like if they were Southern.

I’m particularly fond of the album closer Tearing It Apart. The percussion and the chimes in the back remind me of a lullaby and the song is really soothing.

I think Destry has a lot of potential given the circumstances of how the record was made and it turned out surprisingly well. The album was largely formed by band members sending tracks back and forth, I think it would have been stronger if they had spent more time collaborating in the studio. That being said, while I don’t find the album groundbreaking and 90% of it feels like something I’ve heard before, it’s still a really nice, relaxing debut that’s worth a listen (or two).

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