Brooklyn-based Daniel Tortoledo hopes to find a light in “Dark Times,” the latest folk rock effort from the American-Venezuelan songwriter. The song premieres today accompanied by a mesmerizing music video created by illustrator and printmaker Lill Martinez, and serves as the first single off of Tortoledo’s upcoming LP, Throughout the Years.
The song starts with just Tortoledo’s vocals: Bob Dylan-inspired, in a nasally/youthful kinda way, glazes over quirky lyrics. A funky, distorted bass line then bellows clearly. A hi-hat shuffles, and arbitrary piano keys ring out. A moment later, solid guitar riffs and a harmonica. On “Dark Times” Tortoledo finds psychy, anthemic folk rock in random, layered sounds. He finds something sacred in the mundane. And sometimes, the mundane is the accidental striking of keys while cleaning an old piano. This time, Tortoledo has turned it into art.
But the audio is truly just half of the story. For this release, Martinez created a moving, hand-drawn panorama that absolutely brings the Tortoledo’s song to life. The work gives some of the seemingly aimless sounds— perhaps piano keys— a visual direction, with both experimental and literal interpretations made from mixed media. The artist uses delicate but bold lines and psychedelic imagery, along with the pace of an extensive frame-by-frame panorama. It’s completely hypnotizing.
See/listen for yourself in the video below.