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All Dressed Up 

Dark for Dark lets the chips fall where they may

click to enlarge RILEY SMITH
  • RILEY SMITH

In the dead of last winter, living alone for the first time and unemployed, Dark for Dark's Rebecca Zolkower spent a lot of time just playing guitar and writing songs. "I like watching winter from the window," she says. Even though she wasn't feeling inspired about the writing, when the spring arrived Zolkower took her bandmates—singers Jess Lewis (Cactus Flower) and Melanie Stone, and drummer Matt Gallant—to Crousetown, Nova Scotia, to record the band's next record with producer and engineer Jay Crocker (Joyfultalk). The experience forever changed Dark for Dark. 

Known for incredible vocal harmonies and mellow folk tunes, Crocker's guidance infused Dark for Dark with new fire. "He reinspired the music. We ended up changing the songs, the vibe, the tempo and some of the instrumentation," says Zolkower. "We knew we wanted an early Beatles-inspired sound, so we recorded to tape and kept it analogue as long as we could. It has a really nostalgic feeling."

"We like the warmth of tape," says Lewis. "And recording with Jay in two weekends was a whirlwind. At the end of it, we were like, 'What did we just do?' But the songs were better than we'd been playing them all along."

For its IDOW set on Saturday night, the band will sneak preview that revitalizing energy and '60s-pop style. This is the Dark for Dark that will appear on the new album, coming out in June via the Yukon's Headless Owl Records. 

"It's really the Venn diagram of all of our interests," says Zolkower. Stone adds that on their first record, 2013's Warboats, "We were just sorting ourselves out. But on this one, it feels like we brought out more of what we listen to because there's a lot of overlap in what we appreciate, even though I might listen to more country music than Jess does, and she might listen to more Jefferson Airplane." 

This winter, Dark for Dark is aiming to stay cozy inside, getting ready for an Ontario tour in July after the album release. This includes working on crafting and assembling the jackets for the vinyl version.

"We're making everything ourselves, and there will be other artistic projects that we'll be collaborating on to put out with the record," says Zolkower, who titled the album All Dressed. "Or we could just throw a bag of chips in there and call it a day."

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Dark for Dark
Saturday, January 23, 10pm
The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen 
$15

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