For those unaware, foundational bands in the history of alternative music certainly include Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, and Violent Femmes and San Francisco-born artist Darwin Meiners was a fan of all three.
A chance meeting 13 years ago with David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets) grew into a friendship, and Darwin not only became a bandmate, but David J’s manager.
As the pandemic took hold, Darwin was looking for a new project to occupy the lockdown time and approached Victor, who was keen to proceed and suggested that David join as well. The musical trust established among these three was immediate, and Night Crickets were born.
Within weeks, a global process was initiated. According to the band, their collaboration was a long-distance groove conducted during the drawn-out days of lockdown and beyond.
Audio files shared from Los Angeles to Milwaukee, from London to the San Francisco Bay; the ghosts of Candlestick Park shimmer through the fog, the Devil comes a-knocking on Peter Laughner’s door and Amanda Gorman conjures forth words of inspiration for the dawn of the new millennium.
The resultant album, A Free Society will be released on CD and Digital by Omnivore Recordings on January 21st, 2022, with vinyl being released in July, featuring cover art unique to the LP.
1. Black Leather On The Inside
2. Candlestick Park
3. Amanda’s Mantra
4. A Free Society
5. Roman À Clef
6. Soul Wave
7. Little Did I
8. Sloe Song
9. The Unreliable Narrator
10. Down Below
11. Return To The Garden Of Allah
12. Sacred Monster
13. I Want My Night Crickets!
This highly imaginative, organically raw, and assuredly revealing new album opens on the slow churn of Black Leather On The Inside and the gently jangled guitar work and tambourine vibe of Candlestick Park and backs those up with the flamboyant electro-buzz of Amanda’s Mantra, the drum-led title track A Free Society, the electronic, scratchy soundscape of Roman À Clef and then brings us both the countrified twang of Soul Wave and the upbeat melodies of Little Did I.
Next up is the languishing Sloe Song which is in turn followed by the hurdy gurdy-imbibed The Unreliable Narrator, the atmospheric Down Below, the Americana roll of Return To The Garden Of Allah, the album rounding out on more tambourine-induced rhythms and keyboard work within Sacred Monster, coming to a righteous close on the scintillating musical emotions found within the excellently sculptured I Want My Night Crickets!
David J, Victor DeLorenzo, and Darwin spearhead a loose collective of like-minded creative souls left stranded in their respective locales due to the great pandemic, yet through sheer tenacity and a burning desire to collaborate and create they transcend the restrictions of the times and pull together a glorious Gesamtkunstwerk (German for “total artwork”) that incorporates the past, the present and the imagined future.
As for the band’s name, it came from one of many Zoom meetings among the three members. After addressing various pressing musical issues, the conversation rambled somewhat and turned to the subject of David Lynch, with David J telling an anecdote which was told to him by Lynch’s sound designer, John Neff.
Lynch had asked Neff to obtain a field recording of crickets chirping at night for inclusion in Mulholland Drive. When Neff played him the tape, the director immediately recognized the sound that the insects make when it is light which is apparently a little different to their nocturnal chirp.
“No! No! No! These are day crickets, John! I want my night crickets!” Victor, Darwin, and David then shared a look of mutual realization and instantly agreed that the project now had a name.
David J reveals details about the intriguing meaning the song, commenting, “The lyrics to the song “A Free Society” came about when I was in the studio having just received the basic backing track from Victor. We had been trying to come up with a name for the band and had made a list of possible handles.”
“I had this list on the desk and looking at it again it appeared to me as a kind of Dadaist poem. I simply went into the vocal booth and read off the names in order adding the odd spontaneous embellishment here and there. This approach is exemplary of the off-the-cuff, free-flowing modus operandi of the band.”
Hark! Night Crickets are chirping as the world is set on fire and the sun is going down.
Official Purchase Link
Omnivore - Night Crickets - A Free Society - Official YouTube Trailer