After a lengthy sound check that turned into a request to switch off the PA system in the second song, Des Ark finally got into their groove at Coment Ping Pong on December 16th.
Des Ark consists of singer/guitarist Aimée Collet Argote and drummer Tim Herzog, along with a few others.
Their latest album, Everything Dies, highlights Aimée ‘s folky, breathy voice and starts off with songs of angst and pain, from the perspective of women who are wronged or abused. The title is apt and the lyrics are heartbreaking. But then there comes a perceptible shift towards quiet optimism. Towards something worth fighting for.
Des Ark started off their set with such a more optimistic song from the album, “French Fries Are Magical”, which has the affecting question, “What can I believe, until you believe in me?” at its heart.
A few songs later, they played their strongest song (or at least my favorite) from Everything Dies, “Snake Stuff”, about heartbreak in love. “If I don’t learn to love, I’m going to die of fear.” The melody soared above the small, but tightly packed crowd.
Put together, the song writing and lyrics can incite a sense of melodically, while the gentle melodies and almost atmospheric music bring the mood into quiet harmony.
“Don Taco & His Hot Sauce Toss” starts off with a twangy banjo and moves into a happy acknowledgment of youth in love.
I didn’t catch the names of all eight or so songs Des Ark played, so I focused on the ones I knew from listening to Everything Dies.
The Comet Ping Pong space is small, and one side is simply blankets hanging down separating the music room from the restaurant. But it’s a perfect, intimate venue for a band like Des Ark, who has songs to deliver that are quiet and important to hear.
Check out Everything Dies, and give Des Ark a listen.
The Comet Ping Pong show was their last in 2015, but they pick up again in mid-January in North Carolina, then tour through mid-February throughout the country, before ending in Savannah, Georgia (3/12/16) after a month gap.