The gentle, laid back Canadian indie folk band Dark Mean must have been named by an anagram aficionado, as they are neither dark nor mean. Actually, Billy Holmes, Sandy Johnston and Mark Dean (a.k.a. Dark Mean, get it?), on their new song “Settle Down,” sound quite light and pleasant, if perhaps a bit wistful. A pretty guitar melody ambles along in a acoustic folksy vein, with a shuffling drum beat and mellow vocals drifting in like a soft daydream. With a simple, sweet piano melody and cymbal flourishes, the dream expands and carries you off. It’s a soothing balm for our harsh, chaotic world.
This past year, the band has been “quietly chipping away” in the studio. Based in Hamilton and Ottawa, they’re accustomed to extended breaks and collaborating via cell phones, Skype calls and filesharing, so coming together for a proper session is something special. For an indie band, balancing everyday life and band life isn’t easy, amidst busy schedules and the occasional show tossed in the middle. But when they do manage to create music together, if the result is something as satisfying as this, then it’s definitely worth the wait.
This new song was recorded, mixed and produced by Michael Kaire and mastered by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering.