Jolie Holland has recently released her latest single, Dark Days, which is taken from her upcoming self-produced album, the electrifying and ambitious, Wine Dark Sea. Her new record is out May 20. Aquarium Drunkard premiered Dark Days describing it as: “…noir, lived in, caustic and not entirely of this time.” Meanwhile, NPR’s All Songs Considered featured the song on the show with host Robin Hilton saying: “…on this new record, Jolie Holland takes her sound and turns it upside down…all I can say is strap yourself in. It’s nice to see her go big.”
A stomping, polyrhythmic rocker, Dark Days is the centre piece of Wine Dark Sea. Holland cites the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Adam In The Garden and John Coltrane’s, A Love Supreme, as initial inspiration for the track, especially the rhythmic elements. The melody carries the blues and references nihilistic South Louisiana Creole songs.
The presentation, however, is full on blistering guitar driven rock and roll (a la Velvet Underground or Grinderman) that will be shocking to some of Jolie’s long time fans but not surprising to those who admire her for her edge and fearless sense of improvisation. This track, produced by Holland with the assistance of Douglas Jenkins, skirts the line between noise rock, free jazz and swamp blues with assured audacity.
Dark Days was written by Jolie in Brooklyn during hurricane Sandy when the subways were filling up with salt water. As a New York resident from the Gulf Coast, she said it was deeply upsetting to witness the destruction but that it was also eerily homey; like seeing a bad old friend get out of jail. Holland said this about the lyrics: “It is a concrete re-enactment, almost like a play about the present experience of a broken heart; it’s not a song about anything– it is a present demonstration and embodiment of an experience of loss. It’s not analytical”.
Jolie will be performing Dark Days and other songs from Wine Dark Sea at her residency at Brooklyn’s, Union Pool on May 13.
You can catch Jolie Holland live on the following dates:
May 13, 2014 Union Pool Brooklyn, NY
June 10, 2014 The Echo Los Angeles, CA
June 11, 2014 The Independent San Francisco, CA
June 14, 2014 Star Theater Portland, OR
June 15, 2014 The Crocodile Seattle, WA
June 21, 2014 Milkboy Philadelphia, PA
June 22, 2014 Rock and Roll Hotel Washington, DC
June 24, 2104 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY
June 25, 2014 Brighton Music Hall Allston, MA
June 26, 2014 Higher Ground – Lounge South Burlington, VT
August 1, 2014 Pickathon Happy Valley, OR
August 2, 2014 Pickathon Happy Valley, OR
August 3, 2014 Pickathon Happy Valley, OR