“Through the Deep, Dark Wood” is one of those terrific, unusual songs in which the principal hook arrives, like an unannounced special guest, after you thought you’d heard everything the song has to offer. Given the way pop songs tend to be underwritten, combined with the song title’s implication, my ear was initially convinced, as the song unfolded, that the chorus would be nothing more than the phrase “Through the deep, dark wood,” repeated a couple of times, ending with that vigorous, ascending moment at 0:52. Such things pass for choruses all the time, and this one seemed properly dramatic, if minimal. I could all but hear the instrumental bit that would follow to bring the song back to the next verse.
How satisfying to find that this was just the prelude to the song’s true center, which turns out to be the actual chorus that launches from the last repetition of “deep, dark wood,” with its churning, classic-rock chord progression and ear-catching melodic turning point on the repeating phrase “I can’t go back.” And, see, if they had called the song “I Can’t Go Back”—which is the most-often heard phrase, as song titles typically are—I would first of all have been less surprised by the chorus, and maybe even less delighted? Music is a mysterious thing; mysteries, even unelaborate ones, always enhance the experience.
“Through the Deep, Dark Wood” is a song from the album Time Stays, We Go, set for release in April on the band’s own Pitch Beast Records label. The Veils formed in 2001 and recorded their first album in 2004. With Finn Andrews at the helm, band mates have come and gone; in its latest incarnation, The Veils are a quintet. MP3 via Magnet Magazine. You can read more about the band in previous entries here on February 2007 and April 2009.