Dark Bardo, the new duo making significant strides, has released their first album, Contact Sailor, consisting of twelve songs. This project is a collaboration between producer/mixer Andy Baldwin (known for working with artists like Björk, Elle King, St. Lucia) and producer/composer Filip Mitrovic (with credits like Angelo Badalamenti, Childish Gambino, Jon Batiste). They’ve taken the opportunity to unveil the music video for their fourth single, Aftermidnight Cowboy, their most ambitious offering to date.
Their journey as a band began on February 21st of this year. Although their musical journey is relatively short, the experience is evident in the maturity of their tone. With a dark and melodic sound, they create music that defies the conventional charts. Incorporating a wide variety of instruments and female vocal harmonies, they’ve crafted a distinctive body of work.
Among the album’s tracks, their first single, Wild Thought, featuring Shungudzo, has caught our attention. With phrases like “We are changing history today,” they demonstrate their activist spirit as a band. This happy song is an ode to the idea that music has the power to effect change. Their activism is further demonstrated in Belgrade Burning, where they protest against violence. The song delves into the intensity and peril that characterised the end-of-the-world gatherings held during the 1999 airstrikes on Belgrade. The video clearly conveys their stance with the phrase “Vive la révolution.” In general, this is the band’s character; don't miss the opportunity to listen to the entire album to get to know them better.
The music video is a great strategy to reach a broader audience. It’s highly original, as the music accompanies a story told through different characters who converse via voice-over (to make space for the song) but with subtitles for viewers. Thus, the melody intertwines with the plot, a narrative that links the visual with the auditory. The protagonists, as expected, are Dark Bardo, who are on a quest to find their stolen trumpet by the aftermidnight cowboy. The story essentially revolves around how they search for it and the challenges posed by other caricatured characters they encounter along the way. We can’t reveal more; it’s necessary to watch it to interpret the message.
So, the group begins with a strong proposition that may not be for everyone but is sure to appeal to those who appreciate bands with personality, activist messages, and a willingness to take risks.