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Wed, Jun 26



Dari Bay w/ Ryan Davis

Dari Bay w/ Ryan Davis
Dari Bay w/ Ryan Davis

Time & Location

Jun 26, 2024, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Bloomington, 205 S College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404, USA

About the event

Wednesday 6/26 @ 8pm

$13 ADV / $15 DOS

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Dari Bay

On new album Longest Day of the Year, Dari Bay is a perpetually shifting art project posing as songs, an ongoing thought experiment disguised as a band. Burlington, Vermont-based artist Zachary James launched Dari Bay as a solo vehicle in 2015, acting as sole songwriter, producer, player of every instrument, and exacting architect of how each sound was placed. Early output was raw and often unhinged, but Longest Day of the Year finds Dari Bay assuming a new form as James folds his experimental spirit into what at first appear to be neutral, unassuming tunes.

Growing up in a family with a rich history in the fringes of sound and performance, James got an early start in music, touring and recording as early as 12 years old. He branched out in multiple directions from there, getting into producing for other artists and dabbling in everything from DJ-ing to noisy improv. Forming Dari Bay served as a means to explore a more individualized part of his musical identity, something separate from the various collaborative projects he was involved with. James began writing highly conceptual songs about nature, magic, the supernatural, and other ephemeral weirdness that whirred by in the form of minute-long blasts of futuristic lo-fi psych-pop. Longest Day of the Year isn’t so much a departure from the surreality of earlier material as an evolution. The lyrics here start to reflect more of James’ lived experiences than obtuse concepts, and while the arrangements can seem more streamlined at first blush, these ten songs use straightforward guitar rock adornment as a means to dress up an inherent strangeness that’s at the core of the project.

This manifests as sunset-colored melancholy and mellow overdriven guitar tones on album opener “Wait For You,” or in the unfussy amble of “Same Old Bumpy Road.” Hints of recognizable ‘90s alt rock or twangy slowcore show up here and there, but closer listening reveals how winding and non-linear these seemingly stripped-down songs actually are. “Shy of a Nurse” wraps its heart-rending hooks in a tangle of feedback, and “Walk On Down” wanders through a lonely dust storm of jangling acoustic guitars and graceful vocal harmonies before opening up into an unexpected clearing of bells and key-changing countermelodies. This unpredictable twisting puts Dari Bay in a lineage of idiosyncratic songwriters that reaches from Judee Sill and Alex Chilton through to Elliott Smith and Liz Phair, right up to present day boundary-bending contemporaries like Hovvdy, Ovlov, or Helvetia. The songs invite everyone in with a friendly smile, but make no promises as to where they’ll take us after that. Throughout Longest Day of the Year, James leans into listener expectations as often as he completely disregards them, ultimately finding a captivating equilibrium between the alien and the familiar.

~ Fred Thomas

Videos: Walk On Down (Official Video) | Shy Of A Nurse (Live Session)

Features: Flood Magazine, Glide Magazine, Americana UK, Small Albums’ 50 Best Albums of 2023 (#8), No Expectations 60 Best Albums of 2023, Seven Days Best Albums of 2023 (#1)

Website / Instagram / Bandcamp / Spotify / Youtube

Ryan Davis

After more than fifteen years of releasing music on labels like Feeding Tube, Load Records, Astral Spirits, Bruit Direct Disques, Petty Bunco, All Gone, and others (including, if not primarily, his very own Sophomore Lounge imprint) as/alongside such outfits as State Champion, Tropical Trash, Equipment Pointed Ankh, Roadhouse, and others, "Dancing On The Edge" -- a seven song, 53 minute basement folk opus -- is the first collection of material released under Kentuckiana-based visual artist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ryan Davis' birth name.

The tunes on the album range from bare-boned, achingly crooned avant-folk tales to jovial, full-band excursions into long-form experimental country-tinged rock modes. Continuing in the tradition of the TVZs, Terry Allens, Souled Americans, and DC Bermans before him, this 2xLP reimagines the exceedingly dated archetype of modern day "indie troubadour" music and the inherent trappings therein.

Davis' solo debut is a dense collection of Americana-Noir that navigates a familiar yet alternate reality, one of enchanted mundanity and uniquely mid-southern introspection. Simultaneously anti-social and outwardly inviting, free of cynicism yet slightly steeped in paranoia, "Dancing On The Edge" is as delicately choreographed and emotionally connective as it is, at times, absurd."

A pure collage of modernity and heritage." - Brian Turner

“This is the sound of someone bearing a torch.” - Bill Callahan

"Davis’ talents are immense: vivid imagery and clever one-liners pulling epiphanies from the sacred, mundane, and profane." - Jon Blistein (Rolling Stone)

"(His solo debut) Dancing on the Edge is singular and strong enough to put Davis in league with some of the very best American songwriters of the past and present. He's someone with the originality, wit and ambition to cut through the murk. Someone worth paying attention to." - Tyler Wilcox (Uncut)

"In Kurt Vonnegut’s debut novel, 1952’s Player Piano, the author delivered one of his defining ideas through the mouth of his character Ed Finnerty: “Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center… Big, undreamed-of things—the people on the edge see them first.” Seventy years on, this Kentucky-based songwriter traces life’s edges in the same spirit, contemplating the human capacities for open-hearted euphoria and harrowing pain... In his investigation of the human spirit, Davis has learned to embrace worry and wonder as companions for a restless heart. His place at the edge may be perilous, precarious, and occasionally lonely, but it’s got one hell of a view." - Allison Hussey (Pitchfork, *Best Rock Records of 2023)


  • GA

    Tax: +$0.91 Tax



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