Captivating for both eye and ear, Seattle-based artist DarkSoft released the video accompanying Dark Mode on July 9, 2021, the third and final part of a video trilogy project created in collaboration with DreamboatVISTA Broadcasting and Media Production Company (videographer and producer Collin Snider). And a genuine creation is what it truly is. I’m enamored with the muted, grungy guitar ambiance and then completely overcome by the stirring textures of the strings. It’s like cinematic-dream-grunge, an unusual but stunning combination that reminds me, oddly, of the first time I tasted feta cheese roasted on pineapple. Salty and sweet…unexpected…and all the more exciting and satisfying because of its unusual combination. Interestingly and admirably, the stunning string arrangement is Darksoft’s first originally composed and recorded string arrangement, with all four string parts played by his own mother (a professional cellist). I’m impressed.

True to Darksoft‘s style and sound, the vocal work is dreamlike and muted, like a gentle blurring of the paint on the canvas with one careful stroke of the brush. Woven together with evocatively long, drawn-out notes on the violins widening into rhythmic triplets and melodic finger plucking, and simple, eerie offerings on the electric guitar, it’s all an ambient texture that seems to wake me up and put me to sleep all at the same time. Enamoured. As one with some classical training in music along with a love for that melancholic, contemplative shoegaze approach, Dark Mode hits all the marks for me and leaves me feeling satisfied, and somehow–I might say– a little more whole.

As for message and meaning, Darksoft once again invites us into deeper reflection and examination of our perceived reality. It’s a self-articulated “concept-driven project,” with Dark Mode emerging as the final piece of a story trilogy flowing from its previous parts Wannacry (Part 1) and Foreshadow (Part 2). The album songs are each named after an infamous computer virus. I won’t say much more than that but invite you instead to check out the video. DreamboatVISTA‘s production is vibrant and crisp, though dreamlike in content, adding even more dimension and layers to the muted experience of the soundscape. I’d love to hear your interpretation of the video in the Comments section.

Dark Mode is off the album Meltdown released October 2, 2020. Meltdown was featured on Shoegazer Alive‘s Best Dreampop Albums of 2020.

About IMR

Independent Music Reviews is a music blog that contains album reviews, music news, new releases, just released singles and videos.  We attempt to review most of the albums on the site, and are always looking for your feedback on the albums we review.  Don’t let it be said that we are trying to be especially special, just honest and somewhat available.


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