‘Darkest Hour’ by Ask Carol [Song Review]

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Background from the Band

Record label: ChoVan Records 

Genre: Rock, blues-rock, indie-rock 

About the track: This is Ask Carol’s third single of 2020. With badass, passionate vocals from lead singer Carol, this powerful twosome combines grunge, pop and bluesy elements to describe that “Darkest Hour” of anxiety and depression. The melancholy of Lana Del Rey’s voice meets the energy of Blood Red Shoes, making this a perfect track for any rock fans road trip playlist. It’s the first of a series of singles leading up to the debut album in 2021. 

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Vocals

From listening to other songs by Ask Carol, I know that the very filtered vocals are part of their style, but it’s just not something that I find myself able to get into quickly.

I know that having filtered vocals fit with the more grunge style of the music, and I love Grunge music, but I feel like there should have been moments in the song where there was a cleaner vocal just to break it up a little bit.

There was a moment when there are clean, soft vocals, which was quite a nice bridge to add some dynamics to the song. I just find it difficult to fully immerse myself in what the song is trying to say since there are many electronic layers over top of it that are making it difficult to get all of the words.

Album art for ‘Darkest Hour’ song by Ask Carol

Instrumentals

There is a very minimalistic approach to the instrumentals in this song.

If you listen to each of the instruments independently, they’re not doing anything super complicated, and in fact, there’s a very choppy and staccato sound to the instruments individually.

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However, when those different choppy instruments are put together, it creates an interesting sound.

Mostly since the song doesn’t layer them all directly on top of each other. It instead has a couple of crucial instruments consistent throughout the entire piece and then sorts of cycles through different sounds that hit specific beats and create this excellent forward momentum to the song. I think the instrumentals’ staccato nature also creates a nice groovy bounce to the song that made me want to dance along to it.

Overall, I think the instrumental creates a unique sound and was the first element of it that I was drawn into, which is unusual. As being mainly a vocalist, I am usually focused on the vocals and the lyrical content.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I don’t think that this is a bad song by any means, but I think the main issue is that I do not hear anything in particular that I haven’t heard before. It’s the same issue that I had with ‘Do It In LA’, which is the song that I reviewed by Ask Carol before. It has a very muffled sound, and it makes it difficult for me to immerse myself in the music and the lyrics.

If you would like to hear my thoughts on the first song that I reviewed by Ask Carol, ‘Do It In LA’, you can click the link.

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