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Night Crickets – Photo Credit: Mark Gleason
Foundational bands in the history of alternative music certainly include Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, and Violent Femmes.
San Francisco-born artist Darwin Meiners was a fan of all three. A chance meeting 13 years ago with David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets) grew into a friendship, and Darwin not only became a bandmate, but David J’s manager.
After reaching out to Victor DeLorenzo through e-mail, Darwin met the Violent Femmes drummer after the Femmes’ Coachella set in 2013. Soon after, the three collaborated on Darwin’s 2014 album release titled Souvenir.
As the pandemic took hold, Darwin was looking for a new project to occupy the lockdown time and approached Victor, who was keen to proceed and suggested that David join as well. The musical trust established among these three was immediate, and Night Crickets were born.
According to the band, their collaboration was a “long-distance groove conducted during the drawn-out days of lockdown and beyond. Audio files shared from Los Angeles to Milwaukee, from London to the San Francisco Bay; the ghosts of Candlestick Park shimmer through the fog, the Devil comes a-knocking on Peter Laughner’s door and Amanda Gorman conjures forth words of inspiration for the dawn of the new millennium.”
The resultant album, A Free Society, will be released on CD and Digital by Omnivore Recordings on January 21, 2022, with vinyl being released in July, featuring cover art unique to the LP.
David J, Victor DeLorenzo, and Darwin spearhead a loose collective of like-minded creative souls left stranded in their respective locales due to the pandemic, yet through sheer tenacity and a burning desire to collaborate and create they transcend the restrictions of the times and pull together a glorious masterwork that incorporates the past, the present, and the imagined future.
Big Takeover is deeply pleased to host the premiere of the restless and trippy retro-psychedelic/jazz hybrid number “A Free Society” off the upcoming LP.
An agitated drum rhythm and cool-groove bass line stirs the senses from the start, while dispassionate spoken word and passionate exclamations soon trade off and intersect.
Wavering organ notes, shuffling percussion, and the injection of off-kilter horns materialize in the mix, adding psychedelic layers to an already heady throwback sound.
David J reveals details about the intriguing meaning the song, commenting, “The lyrics to the song “A Free Society” came about when I was in the studio having just received the basic backing track from Victor. We had been trying to come up with a name for the band and had made a list of possible handles. I had this list on the desk and looking at it again it appeared to me as a kind of Dadaist poem. I simply went into the vocal booth and read off the names in order adding the odd spontaneous embellishment here and there. This approach is exemplary of the off-the-cuff, free-flowing modus operandi of the band.”