Camp Dark – Nightmare in a Day

Camp Dark – Nightmare in a Day

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This latest 13 track release by composer/arrangers Adam Svec & producer/drummer Graham O’Brien is such a complex, amazing and dramatic album what else can I say in the end? Nightmare in a Day is more than amazing and dramatic, it’s also extremely suspenseful and somewhat impassioned. It has a sort of quirky-dark quality to it as well. Citing from their bio: Camp Dark’s first offering, Nightmare In A Day, (or Beware the Night) started as a song skeletons composed by Adam Svec and Graham O’Brien. The meat on the bones was added by a list of wonderful players (see the list of contributors). The arrangement of the limbs, direction of the hair, and shade of the makeup was largely generated and organized by O’Brien. This collaboration initially started shortly after Svec’s third solo release, Weaks In The Waves, for which O’Brien played the roles of instrumentalist, engineer, and producer. The first installment of their collaboration, in conjunction with the writing and playing prowess of Casey O’Brien, arrived in the form of Proofreader. Zero Squared in 2013. The intro track “Dixieland” is a great intro piece that gives you an invigorating first impression as if you were in some kind of Feature Film or cinematic musical experience if you will. It’s a somewhat emotional charged opener that sort of leaves you breathless for what’s ahead. The music reminiscent of acts such as Julianna Barwick, Ben Frost and Oneohthrix. Svek has really strong tonality foundation coupled with straight forward rhythms, soothing piano, guitar, sytnth and spaced out goodness. The vocals and lyrics are straight from the heart and the lyrics – interesting. If these tracks were more rocked out I could hear a darker version of James Blunt or even John Mayer performing them. That’s good the writing is. Without a doubt, it’s impossible to deny the superiority of this project consisting of other contributors as well: Dan Choma, Matt Friesen, deVon Gray, John Keston, Matt Leavitt, Robert Mulrennan, Casey O’Brien, Chris Salter. Recorded by Graham at Bellows Studio Mixed by Graham and Adam Krinsky at Bellows Mastered by Huntley Miller. Music is epically melancholy and will cause your hair to stand on end at times. You get this feeling as if you are in a life changing musical experience. Sometimes music can have that effect on the soul. The drums and the bass lines just help push the album forward, and the vibe, if you pay attention carefully, has a slightly tragic vibe. As the CD evolves it showcases some dramatic combinations or Synth-Piano-guitar and Electonica overtones on tracks soul stirring “Out for Blood” and “Shoulda”. The drum/synth/vocal combos have an important role on some pieces as well.  On many these tracks as a producer the 2 clearly give a mood assigning to each song. The addition of the ambient tidbits every now and then gives many song a jazzy-poppy yet ambient/eletronica touch.

My favorite track is by far “Former Lovers.”

In conclusion, here’s a CD release I’ve been dying to get my hands on for a while. I was just unable to stumble across these guys until today. Camp Dark is a very subliminal yet grand concept that’s sure to get many peoples attention. From the production level, to the musicianship involved, this CD delivers in grand fashion.  Let’s also give credit to the evil genius behind all this shall we – singer/songwriter Adam Svec & producer/drummer Graham O’Brien, All in all it’s an impressive collaboration between 2 masters. With the advent of his superlative signature sound via his trademark songwriting and arranging this CD works terrifically well.

Rating 8/10 Stars


Written by Simon Elliot