There’s a line in “Tall Glass of Water,” the lead single off Tim Darcy’s debut solo album, Saturday Night, where Darcy asks himself a rhetorical question: “if at the end of the river, there is more river, would you dare to swim again?” He barely pauses before the answer: “Yes, surely I will stay, and I am not afraid. I went under once, I’ll go under once again.” That river shows up again and again in the lyrics of Saturday Night. It’s about how wonderful it can be to feel in touch with that inner current. It’s about how good it feels to make art, and how terrifying; how you don’t always get to choose whether you’re swimming or drowning as we grow and move through life, just that you’re going to keep diving in. That’s the impulse that links all the songs on Saturday Night.
Each track on Saturday Night is woven to the next in a winding, complex journey through a charged, continuous present. Darcy’s unmistakable, commanding voice and lyrical phrasing are, as they are in Ought, vital to the entire affair. He over-enunciates. He whoops and croons. He makes damn sure you know there are no tossed-off lines here. At the same time there is an evident softness in these songs and an accompanying musicality. While there are moments that take their strength in sparseness, Darcy is unafraid to paint in economic technicolor as his wry lyricism floats nimbly upon chorused guitars and the occasional synthetic artifact.
The album title comes in part from the nights and weekends when it was recorded: a six month period that overlapped with the recording of Ought’s second album where Darcy gathered with friends to record in the storage room of a commercial studio in Toronto. The result sounds like a person exploring his voice in a room full of people he trusts: joyful, shot through with struggle, unfakeably honest. Intimate and rollicking as a house show, delicate as a late-night phone call.
Born in Arizona, Tim Darcy made his way to both Colorado and New Hampshire before ending up in Montreal where he found university, the city’s rich DIY scene, and the other members of Ought. He began writing poetry as early as the third grade and performed often, and his first attempts at songwriting were him feeling around in the dark to set some of them to music. In Montreal, he played in various projects, his and others, before settling into a groove as the singer and guitarist of Ought.