Darksoft is a Portland, Maine-based alternative rock artist who creates dreamy and nostalgic music. This year, he’s kicking off with the release of his new album, “Cryo”, as well as a music video for “Looking Backward”.
“Cryo” is the third full length album written and recorded in its entirety by Darksoft, with help from Zak Van Zeumeren doing mixing and Mike Vernon Davis mastering the tracks. The overall album design is well-thought-out and complements the sound. It’s refreshing to see people use analog equipment in a digital world, and as you may have noticed, Darksoft added more value to the “Looking Backward” music video by shooting it on Super8mm.
This gets a massive thumbs up because the end result is priceless, and Darksoft’s music goes hand in hand with the analog film look.
Darksoft shares his thoughts on the video’s creation
Darksoft: “My idea for the video for Looking Backward started with a super simple concept. It’s similar to finding a message in a bottle on a beach — but instead of a bottle, he [Darksoft] finds a guitar crashing in on the waves. Like the process of songwriting, you pick what’s out there in a sea of music, give it your own spin, and throw out something new you’ve written back into the waters… maybe to land on someone else’s beach. Looking Backward was filmed at Old Orchard Beach using a Super8mm camera I found at my neighbor’s garage sale. This was my first attempt at working with actual physical film.”
Darksoft’s music feels like a glass of cool water on this 8-track album, with soft yet vibrant melodies that tug at people’s heartstrings. The artist seems to embody both the past and the present, but a closer look reveals that futurism, or retrofuturism, also plays a role in his creative expression. The album flows well and conveys to the listener that this is how Darksoft sound like. There’s a catchy song called “Arctic Archive” and it has “hit song” written all over its forehead, so we decided to include it in RED Rock Magazine’s Top 10.
All of the songs are great, but if we had to pick three favorites, they would be “Deep Space”, “Arctic Archive” and “Slip Away”.
LISTEN TO “CRYO” NOW ON SPOTIFY
AND SEE 5 QUESTIONS WITH DARKSOFT BELOW
What does your perfect day look like?
DARKSOFT: “I’m going to answer this in the realist sense. My perfect day is often when I check everything off my checklist. That list is different each day but broadly encompasses three categories: Do something productive for society, do something for people I love, do something for myself.
I like it when Cooper in Twin Peaks says: “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen.” For me, this present is usually creating something, like a new song. Or a piece of writing. Or, I’ve gotten into film photography recently.
Other elements that make a perfect day: Coffee. Working out. Walking through the woods. Eating pizza. Meeting up with friends at a lake for a swim.”
What’s your favorite book or movie?
DARKSOFT: “The Fall (2006) by Tarsem Singh is the best movie you haven’t seen. I love it because it blends surrealism and reality, fusing childish fantasy with intense sadness. The opening scene with the slowed Beethoven score is brilliant and chilling. It stars one of my favorite actors, Lee Pace. It’s also just beautiful aesthetically — it took four years to make and was shot without CGI in over 20 countries. I like it, but it received mixed reviews.”
What’s the weirdest dream you ever had?
DARKSOFT: “Some years back, I used to get sleep paralysis often — some folks say sleep paralysis is a gateway to astral projection, so I attempted that a couple of times and left my body a bit. But I met some shadowy beings in the dream space who freaked me out. It all subsided after I placed some woo-woo candles and gems around my bed.”
What is your definition of a “perfect life”?
DARKSOFT: “An advanced social utopia where there is true equality and freedom. Humans are all peaceful and less judgmental. We all wear matching beige outfits like a Star Trek episode. Most everything is automated aside from the art you want to create or the leisure activities you want to partake in.
Funny you should ask, because the other day, I realized my song Looking Backward is also the name of a sci-fi novel about utopian political theory from the late 1800s. I just ordered it, so I hope to have a more informed answer to this question soon!”
What are five things you can’t live without?
DARKSOFT: “Computer. Guitar. Sandy & Fiona. The Office. And I guess air would probably be the 5th.”
GET “CRYO” ON CD
CDs + Digital Downloads are available for sale on Bandcamp.
Comes shrink-wrapped, with stickers, and with a signed thank you note from Darksoft.
– Seattle WA on 3/11 @ Cafe Racer and 3/12 @ Look Up Fest
– Portland OR on 3/13 @ High Water Mark Lounge
“Cryo” is available on all streaming platforms since January 14, 2022.