By: Julia Simon
Pressing any member of the Austin-based quintet I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness on the origins of their proper-sentence band name only leads to cheeky responses: Faux shock that “Death Cab for Cutie” is claimed, and lament that “Electric Skull” doesn’t fly since it already reached the masses via lapel pins and bumper stickers. Or, even craftier, ILYBICD are known to say their name tricks casual observers into thinking they’re emo.
With an album called Fear Is On Our Side, it’s logical to assume ILYBICD croons heart-wrenching confessionals for the wide- and weepy-eyed. Far from it, though: These new-wave-meets-shoegaze tricksters offer little by way of lyricism with the terse Christian Goyer out front. On “Last Ride Together,” he hints at his dread of verbosity by humming, “Give yourself a minute to catch your breath.” His lines tend to be elongated and monosyllabic, acting less as stand-alone lyrics than as an additional shrouding layer of gloomy textures.
Swirling the echoing melancholia of Joy Division with the stylized synths of Talk Talk, Fear Is On Our Side drowns out ILYBICD’s previously bouncy motifs. Spoon’s Britt Daniel produced their debut self-titled EP, which received critical accolades in 2003 for its’ pogo-y tendencies and saccharine melodies. They’ve sacked this formula for the sinister and ominous drone-tones, making Fear feel nocturnal (track titles include “The Ghost” and “The Owl”) and a harbinger of some dismal fate. Maybe ILYBICD weren’t teasing when they claimed to enjoy rocking the gravesites, after all.
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness tour dates:
3/18, Austin, TX (Emo’s Annex – SXSW) 3/22, Dallas, TX (Gypsy Tea Room) 3/23, Lawrence, KS (Jackpot Saloon) 3/24, Minneapolis, MN (400 Bar) 3/25, Chicago, IL (Empty Bottle) 3/26, Newport, KY (Southgate House) 3/27, Columbus, OH (Little Brother’s) 3/28, Philadelphia, PA (Kyber) 3/29, Cambridge, MA (TT the Bear’s) 3/30, New York, NY (Mercury Lounge) 3/31, Brooklyn, NY (North Six) 4/1, Richmond, VA (Nanci Raygun) 4/2, Chapel Hill, NC (Local 506) 3/3, Atlanta, GA (The Earl)