ALARM's 50 Favorite Songs of 2012

ALARM’s 50 (+5) Favorite Songs of 2012

Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.

Darkness Falls

Q&A: Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls: Alive in UsDarkness Falls: Alive in Us (HFN Music, 10/25/11)

Darkness Falls: “Noise on the Line”

[audio:|titles=Darkness Falls: “Noise on the Line”]

Earlier this year, Danish dream-pop duo Darkness Falls released its first self-titled EP, a promising four-track introduction of haunting melodies and guitar tremolos. It succinctly showcased the duo’s style while unmistakably bearing the fingerprints of electronic producer Anders Trentemøller, who produced the EP.

Now the same creative forces have captivated us again with Alive in Us, Darkness Falls’ full-length debut album. Keyboardist/vocalist Josephine Philip and guitarist/bassist Ina Lindgreen playfully yet skillfully combine psychedelics, ’60s guitar twang, surf-rock reverb, pulsing synth pop, and hypnotic harmonies to produce a dynamic sound that’s both eerie and infectious — and uniquely their own.

The album twists and turns from beginning to end, teasing us with deliciously sweet, melancholic vocals like those featured in the acoustic dreamscape of “Noise on the Line,” before traversing into the creepy-cool B-movie-inspired “Hey!” Alive in Us demands multiple listens; when revisited, each track begins to unravel, each time revealing something new.

ALARM spoke with the duo about how it developed its sound and what lies ahead for Darkness Falls.

How did you begin making music together?

We have known each other for 10 years now. We used to play together in an all-girl Ska band called Favelachic. After Favelachic disbanded in 2005, Ina started at The National Film School of Denmark, and Josephine put out an album with singer Ane Trolle under the name of JaConfetti.

As we were sitting one day together, sipping white wine and talking about music — our likes and dislikes — we suddenly found that we were both curious about the same thing within music. We decided on the spot that we would start working together again. This was back in 2009.

How are each of you involved in the songwriting process?

Usually, Josephine writes the lyrics and creates the compositions, and Ina brings guitar themes and ideas. We finish the songwriting and final tune together. We have different temperaments, and we challenge and complement each other.

As a whole, Alive in Us maintains a haunting and psychedelic quality throughout, but “Hey!” stands out with a B-movie sort of vibe.  Was film an inspiration at all when writing this album? Are there any specific genres or filmmakers that have influenced you?

Film has definitely been an inspiration. We like the aesthetics of old black-and-white movies, and we have been watching a lot of old noir and Hitchcock movies. We both really enjoy movies from favorites filmmakers like David Lynch, James Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Quentin Tarantino, and Gus Van Sant. Their movies all had an important impact while making the album.