★★★☆

 

Coventry Cathedral, a half-bombed-out monolith in the north of England, is a haunted building. After being ravaged by Nazi air raids during World War II, the structure was only partially rebuilt, and stands now as part wreck, part modern structural miracle. It’s incomplete even in the ways it is complete; distinctly eerie in its Janus-like mix of old pain and new devotion.

That combination of the vanquished and veneer nicely defines Tim Darcy’s Saturday Night. The first solo record from the Ought frontman, it is both scuzzed out and stripped clean – there are times, as on the tail end of ‘Still Waking Up’, where it almost feels like a gospel record, or an old-school slice of balladeer crooning, but it’s also defiantly juvenile.

 

Indeed, the pleasures it aims to inspire are almost crude. It is as intellectual as a scraped knee, all copper wire and bum choruses, yet as forlorn and romantic as an old-school Cary Grant flick, all swoons and dolly pulls.

 

As one can gather then, it is a distinctly different proposition to the records Darcy puts out with Ought. But, surprisingly, it is no less worthy. This isn’t some vanity project, or an idle pleasure while the world waits for Sun Coming Down 2.

 

Saturday Night is, in its own quiet way, a jittery, anxious statement of self.

Saturday Night is out Friday February 17 through Inertia.

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