By Jennie Orton
VANCOUVER — We can all agree at this point that 2016 has been a pile of festering waste, infecting everyone who comes in contact with it and leaving residue like a calling card. Amongst the wreckage is the indelible losses of David Bowie and Prince; titans of shameless individuality and the kings of all misfit poets and glam squad warriors. In their wake we await those who will pick up mantles or at the very least continue the good work in whatever small corners they inhabit. Art d’Ecco is one of these fine creatures.
A neo glam artist, prone to wearing costumes onstage and with soaring vocal prowess, d’Ecco has been cultivating his signature flavour in the deep dark woods of British Columbia. He emerged flaunting a kind of Motown-infused glammy psychedelic fusion, delivered by a fierce visage.
“I felt burnt out and, on a whim, decided I needed to make a change,” d’Ecco says. “At first it felt exhilarating, impulsively packing my bags and running away. I moved on January 1 so it was my de facto resolution; one that soon wore off, leaving me with feelings of isolation and regret. What the hell was I thinking? I’d gone from one extreme to another and suddenly I was alone.”
“Over the course of the next year the songs took shape on the piano and I felt this immediate calm set in, the kind you feel when you finally find your missing car keys or your wallet after a three-day bender.”
Produced by Vancouver-based Jason Corbett (Jacknife Sound, ACTORS), from first listen of Day Fevers and the dusty spaghetti western cinematics of “Sunrise,” it becomes evident that this is to be a self-reflective journey, a heroes wandering through the abyss. But don’t expect the album to be bogged down by introspection and mellotron; Fevers sounds a lot like what would happen if T-Rex did a duet with Orbison in Venus’s best-kept-secret underground euro pop club.
The result is an album that is eyebrow-raisingly good. “Nothing Ever Changes” is a weightless but substantial ethereal and reflective trip, much like graham Nash’s life-changing “Better Days” (look it up, you’ll be glad you did). “Until it is Over”, a ghost train deep into the gripping and thirsty wasteland that is longing, a self professed “kitchen sink song,” lacks all the pretence of most lofty ambitions attempted by a new artist; it just keeps getting more compelling as it goes, erupting into a full meal deal of crashing hi hats and Brian Wilson style other-level vocals. It is almost jarring when it ends.
“This song is about hijacking your feelings,” d’Ecco teases about “Changes.” “In the words of Walter White: ‘It’s not over, until I say it’s over.’ Emotionally, that is.”
And if you are looking for singles, you can’t do better than the insidious and dangerously sexy “She So Hot,” a track that will loop in your head like a large dose of happy pills.
As debuts go, this is a remarkable achievement, one that is deeply personal and fruitfully ambitious. Self-realization put to music and sent out into the barren landscape to find a new way home.
“John Lennon put it best (paraphrasing): ‘Tell the truth, make it rhyme, and put it to a beat.’ It took a long time for me to reconcile this. Find your own voice and use it as a tool to chip away and whittle it down deep until you expose your truth. That’s where the beauty is hiding.”
Day Fevers album launch party will be at The Rickshaw on September 10Art d’Ecco, BC, British Columbia, Rickshaw Theatre