In a southern, Mark E. Smith-like drawl, Tim Darcy opens “Cosmetic Sadness” with a narration of our protagonist’s struggle with everyday life, using a barrage of makeup metaphors. This is our first introduction to the Ought frontman’s collaboration with improviser and former CKUT Radio music programming director Andrea-Jane Cornell for their NNA Tapes debut, Too Significant To Ignore. As Darcy meanders on, Cornell lays the backdrop, building the tension through live field recordings and electronic manipulation that creates an eerie landscape for his words to live in.
With a focus on communicating the confusing psychedelia inherent in the mundanity of modern human existence, the Montreal duo channel post-punk icons like The Birthday Party or Dome, sonically seeking both the comfort and madness our post-modern world exudes. “I am my own eventual paradise, and everyday, before leaving the house…” Darcy prattles, “scraping, moulding, rebuilding that cosmetic sadness.” His spoken-word delivery reflects a bored disgust and an isolation from society, and it’s quite easy to imagine them coming from the mouth of an Ed Gein, or Perry Smith. True to its title, “Cosmetic Sadness” is not for the meek, whether this world, or the next.
Too Significant To Ignore will be released March 18. You can stream “Cosmetic Sadness” below.