Damon & Naomi - Fortune
‰ÛÏGrey day celebration music for meshed afternoons; eleven strums and songsåÊto savor as you wander till spring. Did Damon & Naomi dream them? Did I?åÊWill you?‰ ‰ÛÓAndy Zax
People talk about Damon & Naomi as if they‰۪re the raw infrastructure thatåÊremained after Galaxie 500 fell apart, a steel skeleton stubbornly standingåÊafter an earthquake. But when the pair began a new project, they weren‰۪tåÊadjusting so much as starting from scratch. By the time they released MoreåÊSad Hits, they had grown enough as musicians and songwriters that theyåÊdidn‰۪t need to lean on stark sincerity and reverb-drenched emoting. Instead,åÊthey reigned in their sound, favoring acoustic over electric, building moreåÊcomplex and specific textures, and exploring smaller sonic spaces. If GalaxieåÊ500 was ahead of its time, Damon & Naomi are prescient in their ownåÊway, firmly rooted in the early ‰۪90s but hinting at things to come. The projectåÊprovided a necessary platform for the pair to focus, hone and build on the
groundwork that they laid for themselves, peeling away layers to reveal a shyåÊcloseness that Galaxie 500 never could.
The pair‰۪s latest project, Fortune, is an LP released in tandem with NaomiåÊYang‰۪s video piece of the same name. She refers to the work as ‰ÛÏa silentåÊmovie,‰ though the visuals are so bound up in the music (and vice versa) thatåÊit‰۪s more of a long-form music video, a visual poem set to the metronome ofåÊa textural score. She conceived of the piece to explore conflicting feelingsåÊsurrounding her father‰۪s recent passing; Yang was suddenly burdened with aåÊmassive archive of his artistic work (her father was a photographer), as wellåÊas the ongoing aftermath of flawed parenting. Her use of the term ‰ÛÏfortune,‰åÊthen, is tinged with sardonicism but also with nostalgia‰ÛÓportraits from theåÊ1940s and ‰۪50s painted by protagonist Norman von Holtzendorff‰۪s fatheråÊ(also recently deceased, and who also left his archive in Norman‰۪s hands) featureåÊprominently. An ongoing tarot card motif ties in another facet of the suddenlyåÊslippery term ‰ÛÏfortune,‰ using Damon & Naomi‰۪s now familiar brandåÊof close, acoustic warmth to explore the past‰۪s bearing on the future: ‰ÛÏI wantåÊto be over / To touch and be gone / Forget this amnesia.‰åÊFortune‰ÛÓas a film or an album‰ÛÓis itself an expressive portrait, butåÊdoesn‰۪t adhere to any obvious narrative; rather, it‰۪s a comfortable space thatåÊthe viewer can move in and out of, dreamlike and immersive. The elevenåÊnew songs don‰۪t require visual accompaniment‰ÛÓDamon & Naomi have constructedåÊthe sequence to communicate through sound alone‰ÛÓbut at upcomingåÊperformances the duo will be presenting them live as a soundtrack toåÊYang‰۪s ‰ÛÏsilent‰ film.