The album opens on a scene of life unfolding. “Day Song” stretches effortlessly forward, a wispy, infinitely flexible creature of perpetual motion. The sound is consistently fresh in its unpredictability and lack of repetition, but intelligible to our emotional sense which latches irresistibly to the patterns that lay like artifacts within the music. There is no percussion; nothing to mark the passage of time. There is only the interaction of voices. They are solemn but not without hope, swelling into the echo of a large space, the pulsing overtones rise like smoke through the stained-glass rotunda of an imaginary cathedral. And that’s just the opening minute and a half.
The first track isn’t the only one to reference antiquity. There is the reoccurring cathedral reverb and the medieval bard’s throaty trill, the layered counterpoint interaction that occurs between the voices and occasionally makes it’s way in the supporting ensemble (see “Love With All Your Heart” at 0:50), not to mention the tribal pulse that makes an appearance during a key section of “The Animal of Choice” – it compels the listener to appreciate the ideas posed by the album from a perspective outside our particular cultural bounds. The main idea of the album has something to do with exploring how a person might deal with the darker aspects of their nature (“the beast”). Every culture in every time has had its own coping mechanisms for dealing with this fact of human nature but these mechanisms are so seamlessly interwoven into our worldview that they can escape our line of sight every now and again. Alluding to other locations in time/space allows us to see the problem in a larger context, feel its cosmic enormity, and experience the terror of its inevitability: we will meet the beast sooner or later, everybody will because people always have. The Longsuffering Song.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of consolations on the EP to counter these unsettling observations. For one thing there’s always good humor to turn to, which Daredevil sprinkles like fairy dust onto the subject matter, turning fodder for an existential crisis into fuel for a highly entertaining collection of music. Seriously, the album is a lot of fun to listen to. There’s an especially playful spirit animating “Animal of Choice” and “Love with All Your Heart”. Daredevil floats effortlessly about their vast garden of musical tricks, changing arrangements and adding ornamentations, they end up mutating through upwards of four styles a song. While the backdrop is ever constellating itself anew, the foreground employs a deliberate brand of lyrical repetition, as in “Love with All Your Heart.” The song consists of only four lines, and each line is given an entire section to occupy. Within these sections the line is repeated and dissected into smaller portions; these smaller portions are then repeated in turn. Each of these iterations tears at the veneer of syntax until the deeper meaning behind the words is laid bare. And speaking of getting past the words so we can get at the meaning, let’s wrap this up so the music can be listened to. In a nutshell: The Longsuffering Song is short but sweet and breathtaking from start to finish.
-Caleb Price, September 2011
This self-released EP is streaming and available as a 10″ or digital download on their bandcamp. They are also in preparation for an upcoming Canadian tour. Still hungry? Check out or videos and photographs of DDCW from this summer.