by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Boston’s Derek Desharnais is best known as the vocalist/guitarist of Sneeze and drummer for Fucko, but before either of those bands, he was releasing solo recordings under the name Before They Set Sail. Set to release his first new music in a decade via Midnight Werewolf Records (Kal Marks, Rong, Landowner), the project that began in the living rooms of New Hampshire has moved into the bedrooms and practice spaces of Boston, and Desharnais’ latest is among his most personal efforts to date. The record, The Mist & Hunter, is meant to be heard in full (and listened to on headphones), and we’re excited to share the premiere of the album.
The record is built on acoustics and atmosphere, like a candle flickering in an empty apartment, there space of the recording is as much a part as the music itself. Chords bend and distortion wavers, layered nuances that set a dark mood. Unlike Sneeze and Fucko, Before They Set Sail carries a mood of solitude with it, but it’s not all darkness and despair. “Oh New England” feels like a joyous folk song after the somber “Bread & Stick” (yes, a song named “Bread & Stick” is bleak). Desharnais doubles his voice on many of the tracks, offering stretched out harmonies that counterpoint the sparse structures with degrees of color, painting between the misery with a range of pitches that create the sound that these aren’t the thoughts of one person, but that we’re all living this darkness together.