Dark Tones certainly live up to their name, incorporating ambient noises of all kinds into their sludgy, experimental rock. The Boston group has released a slew of music on their Bandcamp page — though their tone shifts from wavering, plucky acoustics to entropic, complex layers of noise from their earliest release in 2011 to now, Dark Tones have always created music that’s weird and edgy (in the best way, of course.) Their new single “Skeleton Chair” comes ahead of the release of a bed I don’t want to lie in, due out June 30th.
The song opens with the creaking of a chair, apropos of the title. A bouncing bass line ushers in a shimmering, syncopated guitar riff while cars honk at each other in the background. The first 30 seconds of the song is pure noise, something Dark Tones has proven to be masters of.
a bed I don’t want to lie in is peppered with sounds to set the scene: crowd murmurs at Webster Hall, voices conversing in an apartment somewhere in New York, muted piano quietly playing underneath Dark Tones’ morose, sometimes unsettling instrumentation.
“Skeleton Chair” picks up with some wistful vocals, the bass carrying on the melody it opened the song with. The song continues building on itself, adding more layers of noise — thundering drums; an eerie, spectral, unplaceable noise; more intensely plucked guitar — until it becomes just that: a wall of sound, each individual one indistinguishable from the others.
Dark Tones are proving their staying power by melding together their unique use of ambient sound with simple, catchy hooks and lyrics that strike you to your core. You can hear “Skeleton Chair” and other unique tracks on a bed I don’t want to lie in, due out at the end of the month.