With its tender, ear-opening piano motif and graceful, ruminative momentum, “Daydreaming” is fully engaging throughout its almost five-minute length, which is a relative rarity in 21st-century rock’n’roll. (When aiming for some kind of pop, few songs of this length manage without some dead spots.) Singer/pianist Nona Marie Invie is front and center from the start, her haunted voice offering up plaintive phrases, surrounded by warm acoustic instrumentation.
What exactly we are hearing in the background becomes a bit of a mystery, however, as the song progresses. Beyond the piano and the percussion there’s an accordion involved, and, according to promotional material, a banjo (that could be what we hear briefly at around 0:20); band members are also known to play clarinet and trumpet, but I’m not sure either of those account for that sound we get for a moment or two at 1:17. Invie’s repeating piano refrain, with its recurring blue notes, remains at the song’s backbone, but listen to how the accompaniment grows increasingly tense and solid after the three-minute mark. Her singing is nearly overwhelmed by the ghostly wash of noise—a clamor that is tamed only by the second round of her incisive, swooping “oo-oo”s as the song draws to its wistful close with one more half-iteration of the captivating piano line.
“Daydreaming” is not a new song, but it has arrived newly in my inbox. It comes from the Minneapolis ensemble’s second full-length album, Wild Go, which was released on Supply and Demand Records in October 2010, and then in Europe and the UK in April 2011 on Melodic Records. Featuring as many as seven members at certain times, Dark Dark Dark is currently touring in a five-person format.