Tag Archives: Ought

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Ought Find Magic at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday Night

April 9th, 2018

Ought – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 6, 2018

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

Montreal’s Ought still feel like the kind of band that’s this wonderful secret you can’t wait to tell someone about. Their fans, who have gradually grown in number and in their affections since the quartet’s 2014 debut, More Than Any Other Day, all seem to share that sparkle of knowing about greatness yet to be widely discovered. As it turns out, there are a bunch of those fans in New York City, as evidenced by Ought packing them into Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night. “Into the Sea,” off Ought’s latest and most impressive album, Room Inside the World, sent an instant jolt into the air with its churning, essentially post-punk bassline that implored the bodies in the room, helpless to its charms, to bounce and sway. That energy kept mounting as the show continued in a blissful blur, picking up steam with other striking post-punk-revival delights off the new album, like “Disaffectation,” “These 3 Things” and “Take Everything.”

To bring heart rates down some, the bluesy gospel stride of “Desire” provided respite. For a song recorded with and carried by a 70-piece choir, the live rendition was still decidedly full and radiant, due to precisely synced musicianship and frontman Tim Darcy’s sonorous bellow. His stage presence was also undeniable. It’s meant as a great compliment to describe him as a grown and elongated version of the boy protagonist of Moonrise Kingdom, Sam. (Ought are also clearly influenced by Wes Anderson favorites like the Velvet Underground, the Clash and the Ramones, to name a few.) As he swung a guitar around in awkward angularity, occasionally flipping back his hair with a quick on-beat head shake, Darcy easily won over everyone in the crowd.

Of course, the music took care of that, too, thanks to the band’s consummate professionalism. Behind Darcy, bassist Ben Stidworthy, keyboardist Matt May and drummer Tim Keen played so fluidly as to sound like the music wasn’t being performed with effort and strained focus, so much as it was imagined into existence in the way the group ideally wanted it to sound. No beat was skipped or note rushed as songs from earlier records populated the back half of the show, some stretched and probed in extended forms, as if searching for a bit of ephemeral magic. There was plenty to be found, especially on the irresistible grooviness of “Habit.” By the encore, it felt like the room was in a collective trance and the very gracious Ought happily played a few more for an audience not shy in showing appreciation for them. And dancing loosely with a grin, you kind of thought that Ought were a secret you wish you could keep. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

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Ought Frontman Tim Darcy Brings Solo Album to Rough Trade NYC

September 7th, 2017

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Tim Darcy is perhaps most known for fronting the energetic post-punk Montreal quartet Ought. But recently he’s begun crafting more introspective music as a solo artist, earning comparisons to David Byrne and Lou Reed in the process. His debut full-length, Saturday Night (stream it below), came out this past winter. “Saturday Night is a confident debut from a creator who’s best when he seems uncomfortable,” said Exclaim. “So long as he keeps evading his comfort zone, Darcy’s songwriting should remain potent for years to come.” Pitchfork rang in, too: “On the one hand, Saturday Night does exactly what you expect a solo record from a member of a raucous rock band to do: It’s more off the cuff and rougher around the edges, and showcases a more introspective side than the day job normally allows. On the other hand, it’s an assault on that very idea. Over its 11 songs (including one hidden one), Darcy slowly dismantles the confessional crooner archetype until he’s just messing around with the raw materials, transforming himself from singer-songwriter to sound sculptor.” His new tour just kicked off yesterday, and you can catch Tim Darcy (above, performing “Still Waking Up” for KUTX FM) live in Brooklyn tomorrow night at Rough Trade NYC.

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Ought Play the Late Show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday Night

September 29th, 2015

The post-punk four-piece Ought—Tim Darcy (vocals and guitar), Ben Stidworthy (bass), Matt May (keys) and Tim Keen (drums and violin)—has been expertly marrying the sounds of mid-’90s emo bands and early college-rock groups since forming three years ago in Montreal, where each of the band’s members—none of them Canadian—met while in college. Their debut full-length, More Than Any Other Day (stream it below), came out last year. AllMusic dubbed it “a deeply refreshing listen, bursting at the seams with joy and anger and less indebted to its long list of influence than it is an entity greater than the sum of its parts.” Not wasting any time, Ought (above, performing “The Weather Song” at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival) released their second LP, Sun Coming Down (stream it below), just two weeks ago. (The album’s so acclaimed that even noted spoilsports Pitchfork liked it.) Per Spin, “Sun Coming Down builds on Ought’s remarkable debut with poise and certainty that the quiet terrors of anxiety cease to slow as you age.” Catch them on Thursday night at Mercury Lounge. Purchase, N.Y. quartet Adult Mom opens the show.