Detroit pop band don’t swim between introverted wallflower shyness and fuzzy blasts of cathartic energy. A cautious, poetic lyrical core communicates with walls of high powered guitars and synth melodies urged along by pushy tempos, creating a world of beautiful dichotomies.
Longtime friends and collaborators Frankie Ma and Jared Sparkes worked on music for years, reaching the songwriting equivalent of finishing each other’s sentences before don’t was formed in 2015. Ma on guitar and vocals and Sparkes on synth and vocals were joined by bassist Jules Fisher and drummer Nick German, who added charge and volume to their introspective songwriting. don’t grew their noisy pop around a strict D.I.Y. ethos, going on self-booked tours, setting up Detroit shows for touring bands, recording with whatever piecemeal means were available and releasing their own tapes. The band became a part of both Detroit’s independent music community as well as a larger network of self-sufficient artists, playing across the Midwest and East Coast with Deadbeat Beat, Bellows, Gabby’s World and many others.
Inspired by the experimental curiosity of otherworldly pop makers like Stuart Murdoch, Mark Linkous, Mount Eerie and the entire Elephant 6 family, don’t mix relatively straightforward song structures with more adventurous and reaching production. The songs of their first proper full length lightning slow explore complex emotional territory while turning K Records-styled songs inside out with layers of saturated fuzz and rocky waves of unexpected melodic turns. With every song feeling like a resignation letter or the belabored response to an aloof breakup text, don’t reaches out from an aching distance. There’s a push-pull between quiet discontent and chaotic noise, with don’t in the middle finding some kind of strange comfort riding those waves.