DARTO - Human Giving LP
"Despite all of its catchy qualities, Human Giving by DARTO is a difficult album to pin down. The lyrical phrasing, and melodies have been stuck in my head for months. The mood is set immediately from the first note of 'GDLS,' enveloping the space around the listener. By the time 'I Am' enters, the sound and feeling transitions from lush and inviting, to focused and intentional with the keyboards and strings propelling the movement and allowing the lyrics and accompanying melodies to float along seamlessly. The feeling is similar to being lulled into a dream. Like any dream spell you have no idea until you wake. As the record progresses splashes of Americana seem to emerge, painting subtle pictures of the American West, or a vast expanse that we would associate it with. It’s a momentary visit to those places as Darto keeps moving, exploring new worlds. 'Character Study' is a prime example of such. The eerie beauty that surrounds this song positively shakes me. The most ecstatic moment of the album also arrives in this song. It takes me to a place filled with light, and oddly enough this is as close to psychedelic as this album gets, despite the psych realms the band takes us with songs like 'Guiding Light' or 'Aging.' The album ends with the gorgeous 'American Storyteller.' It’s cinematic and soft. The picture, the scene that is painted in my mind is in black, white and silver. As the title states, this is a story, an open story, suggestive but with room for the listener to fill in the blanks. An apt way to close a record where the constant is an emotional hook that dives into the human condition."