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Damian Wilde - Nouveau Noir EP (Album Review)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 Written by Sam Hailes

Photo: Remi Guiot

The ‘Nouveau Noir’ EP, Damian Wilde’s debut release, is like an early sketchbook from a renowned artist. Upon looking inside you find a mixture of elements, with some of the markings displaying great potential. The occasional page may even be close to genius, but most of the doodles make little sense.

The Umbrella Co. is the opener, lead single and the most likely song to get some airplay, despite Wilde’s self-described minimalist style. An unusual piano rhythm forms the backbone and is a nice touch, with its desperate lyrics largely well delivered.

If nothing else, this effort just about manages to encourage the listener to persevere with the record, and the rewards are almost instantaneous as its follow up, Tempestuous, takes things up a notch.

Another simple, but pleasing, riff is delivered, this time with guitars shoved to the foreground. “I love the law but I hate the cops, ‘cause at 2am all the music stops. And they put my boy in the back of a van, I really think we need to escape from the man,” Wilde sings.

There’s a dark feel throughout (the title translates to ‘new black’ after all), and Wilde admits as much in his accompanying bio: “My heart, it feels tainted and black. There are a lot of things that are wrong inside. When I make a record I try and scrape off pieces of it, smear it on a record and send it out there.”

Overall, this is a very introspective record. ‘Personal’ would perhaps be a kinder adjective, but on the balance of things this collection dips into self-indulgent territory at times. To say there’s room for growth would be an understatement, but Wilde certainly has the potential to make more of his unique talents.


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